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English definition of “if only”

if only

B1 used when you want to say how doing something would make it possible to avoid something unpleasant : If only she'd listen to what he's saying, I'm sure they could work it out.Wanting thingsHoping and hopefulness Grammar:If onlyWe use if only to express a strong wish that things could be different. It means the same as I wish but is stronger. We use it to talk about past, present and future unreal conditions.Grammar:Not only … but alsoWe use not only X but also Y in formal contexts:
(Definition of if only from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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