What Are Limiting Modifiers? (with Examples)

What Are Limiting Modifiers? (with Examples)

Limiting modifiers impose restrictions on the words they modify. The most common limiting modifiers are:
  • Almost
  • Hardly
  • Nearly
  • Just
  • Only
  • Merely

Positioning of Limiting Modifiers

The word (or words) a limiting modifier governs is usually immediately to its right in a sentence. In each example below, the limiting modifier is shaded, and the word it governs is in bold.
  • Martin knows hardly anybody.
  • He hardly knows anybody.
  • Only Martin eats pears.
  • Martin eats only pears.

See Also

What are modifiers? What is a misplaced modifier? What is a dangling modifier? What is a squinting modifier? What are determiners? What are intensifiers? Glossary of grammatical terms