Couldn't I say, "Je n'ai fait que mes devoirs"? Why is "Je n'ai que fait mes devoirs" better. The 1st one feels more natural.

Zachary

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2018

1 reply

Couldn't I say, "Je n'ai fait que mes devoirs"? Why is "Je n'ai que fait mes devoirs" better. The 1st one feels more natural.

This relates to:
Restrictive ne … que = only (compound tenses) -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2018

9/08/18

Hi Zachary,


grammatically both versions are correct but they mean slightly different things.


Je n'ai fait que mes devoirs. -- I did only my homework (and not somebody else's).
Je n'ai que fait mes devoirs. -- I only did my homework (and didn't do something else).


The "que" is placed immediately preceding the part it refers to, just like in English. The change in meaning is sometimes easily perceptible sometimes more subtle.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

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