Common mistake one of the only (few)

One of the Only (Few)

When it comes to using the phrase "one of the only," there is a common mistake that many people make. Instead of saying "one of the only," the correct phrase should be "one of the few." Let's explore why this is the case.

Mistake: One of the Only

Using "one of the only" gives the impression of exclusivity. However, grammatically it is incorrect. The word "only" implies singularity and uniqueness, making it illogical to use it in conjunction with "one of."

Here's an example of the common mistake:

  • She is one of the only students who passed the exam.

In the example above, the use of "one of the only" doesn't make sense because it implies that there are no other students who passed the exam. However, the intention is to convey that she is one of a small number of students who passed.

Correction: One of the Few

The correct phrase to use in this situation is "one of the few." This phrase indicates that the subject belongs to a small group or category.

Let's correct the example:

  • She is one of the few students who passed the exam.

In this corrected sentence, we convey that she belongs to a select group of students who passed the exam, without implying that she is the only one.

Grammar Checker Assistance

Grammar mistakes can happen to anyone, but they don't have to be a persistent issue. Tools like the Linguix grammar checker can help identify and correct such common mistakes, enabling you to write with confidence and accuracy.

one of the only (few) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    He's one of the only magicians in Providence.

    He's one of the few magicians in Providence.

  • Correct:
    She's one of the few musicians with an accordion.
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