This raises questions about the placement of the word "only" in English. The sentence above means the person does not throw the meat around or give it to the dog: he eats it. "I eat only cooked meat" gets closer to what I think is intended, especially if the word "cooked" is emphasized. But does it mean that the writer does not eat bread or vegetables or anything else that is not cooked meat?
In this post I'm focusing on the English translation and the possible significance of two sentences. 1. I only eat cooked meat. 2. I eat only cooked meat.
Although there is a difference in their meaning, my guess is that the casual native speaker may use them interchangeably The possible meaning of, I, alone (no one or nothing else), eat cooked meat", strikes me as unlikely without clear additional context forcing that interpretation.
It seems ambiguous whether the one food I eat is cooked meat or the only type of meat I eat is cooked meat. As usual context is king.
case A: I'm on a special high protein diet. I only eat cooked meat. [I don't eat vegetables, starches, fruits, nuts, or any other kind of food.]
case B: Host: Would you like some steak tartar? Me: What is that? Host: It's delicious. It's uncooked ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, Me: I only eat cooked meat. [I don't eat uncooked meat. Of course, I eat other things, too, but never uncooked meat.]
Unfortunately your guess that a casual English speaker uses those two sentences interchangeably is correct. Like most casual speech, this is a case where context determines which interpretation is correct.
There is also a third construction to ponder here: "I eat cooked meat only" which is similarly ambiguous outside of a context.
To be fair, a lot of speech without context is ambiguous! In reality, what is the likelihood that a person is telling you they eat nothing but meat? Highly doubtful. I think Duolingo is assuming the speaker isn't insane and/or trying to kill themselves by way of 'malnutrition' so let's just assume it means the person always cooks their meat (and eats other food as well!).
chaered: "the traditional Eskimo diet consisted largely of meat and fish, with fruits, vegetables, and other carbohydrates — the usual source of vitamin C — accounting for as little as 2 percent of total calorie intake"
They don't eat 'purely' meat but I do see your point, but how many of us reading this here on Duolingo have spoken with any Inuit compared with how many haven't? My point was '... what is the likelihood...' not '...but it's impossible...'
I love your coming up with that third possibility: I alone eat cooked meat (and everyone thinks I'm very weird). I've looked around briefly to see if there is some special usage to express this but am just seeing the "yo" being added. Maybe this is one of those times when you would use it to show you are a special case?
You could say "Why do these people all eat sushi around here? Only I eat cooked meat." That would mean that I alone eat cooked meat.
In "I eat only cooked meat." the only refers to the cooked meat. I agree with drepple that placing only before eat could mean that you only eat it and don't play with it first, but it does depend on the emphasis placed on the sentence. "I only eat cooked meat." would be interpreted to mean that eat is the only thing I do with it. Without that emphasis on the word eat, as Martinco discussed, the ambiguity sets in and it could be interpreted to mean the cooked meat is what is only eaten. People will go towards the more common sentence naturally. Which means people will not assume that the person doesn't eat other foods but that the meat must be cooked to be eaten.
"Only" should generally precede the word it modifies. Only I eat cooked meat. (No one else eats it.) I only eat cooked meat. (I don't drink it or throw it away.) I eat only cooked meat. (I don't eat raw meat or other types of food.) To clarify the last option, one might say (I eat meat, only if it is cooked.)
There isn't really a difference in meaning between those two so much as there's a difference in the degree of ambiguity of them. The second at least eliminates the (rather unusual, but valid) interpretation that the speaker is the only person eating. Either way, he could be saying that when he eats meat, he eats it cooked, or that he eats cooked meat and nothing else.
I agree, there are a couple things this could mean.
"I only eat cooked meat" could mean, "the only thing I do with cooked meat is eat it." OR it could mean, "the only thing I eat, is cooked meat." It could also mean, "I only eat meat that is cooked."
is there a way to differentiate these in spanish by moving the word "sólo" or is it like english in the way that you would know from context?
I have no idea why snowdove's comment was downvoted. I had the same question. I thought that it would be carne cocida, and that cocinada was only used with haber, as in He cocinada carne.
I did a bit of searching and found out that there are two verbs: cocinar, to cook, and cocer, to cook but especially to boil or bake (and also to fire ceramics). So cocida comes from cocer and cocinada comes from the more general cocinar.
Las reglas gramaticales han cambiado en cuanto a la palabra "solo" según la RAE se acentuará únicamente en los casos donde se presente una ambigüedad.