This sentence was added by Pearson, in commercial partnership with Duolingo (as opposed to by a volunteer moderator, like most of the sentences in the course). Hopefully they will edit the accepted translations or explain themselves here.
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Why it is not correct to day for Ich habe nur zwei Mantel as i have only two coats. The system answer was I only have two coats.
I don't think there is any difference between "I only have two coats" and "I have only two coats"
I beg to differ. The former means that the only two things you have are those two coats ("only" modifies "have"), but the latter simply means that you have two coats and not more of them ("only" modifies "two coats"). But anyway, I'm not sure how to express something like that in German.
That's not true. Consider: someone says, "I have three cars." An envious interlocutor replies, "Aww... I only have two cars." This is obviously not saying that the two cars are the only things the person owns.
I have only 2 coats should also be accepted. I can stress either 'only' or 'have' verbally.
In UK English it is grammatically correct to say EITHER I have only two coats OR I only have two coats! As Duolingo markets its language courses to the UK they could at least enable us to use our own language (& not US English which is altogether a different language!)
US English speaker here. In US English it is also acceptable to say both. I'm reporting this now.
Both expressions may be grammatically correct but they mean different things, see above. DL states that only the second solution is correct. Personally I think it should be the other way round.
Well, the same, but stressing ‘zwei’ in pronunciation. If you wanted to unambiguously indicate that the intended meaning is ‘only two coats’ in writing you could rephrase the sentence, like: ‘ich habe nicht mehr als zwei Mäntel’ or something along those lines.
Only I have two coats.
There may be other people with coats, but I am the sole person who has two coats.
I only have two coats.
I have nothing, except for two coats. But this construction also is used to mean ...
I have only two coats.
I have two coats. I have no more coats than that.
I have two coats only.
Same as immediately above.
I'm new to German so I may be mistaken, but I strongly suspect the German sentence, Ich habe nur zwei Mäntel, means the final two English sentences, above. It has been reported many times over the last several months, but it appears that no one is listening or refuses to believe what I know to be true. Or the German sentence really does mean that I have zero possessions except for two coats: no pants, no car, no hopes and dreams, no proverbial pot. Just the two coats.
According to Stack Exchange, English language users under "I only have vs I have only" the answer is as given above. I only have modifies the subject I, whereas I have only modifies the subject. The example dealt with friends with the later meaning that only a few of the acqaintances were friends. They referance http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Word-Only-Correctly. Hearing it either way means the same thing to me. I got it wrong also as my folks, although English language first people, grew up with English language second parents and in a German language community.