This is Saturday and here I am with one more English term- Even.
The sense of a sentence can be affected by the position within it of the adverb even.
Here are a few examples, each followed in brackets by the words that might well complete the original sentence:
- Even I couldn’t read the newspaper yesterday (so how do you expect my secretary to have done so?)
- I couldn’t even read the newspaper yesterday ( -I was so busy.)
- I couldn’t read even the newspaper yesterday (let alone that 200-page report you sent me.)
- I couldn’t read the newspaper even yesterday (when I as only half as busy as I am today, so it’s hardly likely that I would have the chance to read it today.)
A problem occasionally arises, as with not and only, when idiom conflicts with logic. Sentence 2. Above might well be written when the meaning intended is that of sentence 3. So long as the context keeps the sense clear, ambiguity is unlikely to present a real threat, and the idiomatic usage can be allowed. But the more logical positioning of even – as near as possible to the word or phrase it relates to – is always available, or course, and should certainly be used if the idiomatic form is in danger of being misunderstood. Purists prefer the logical form at all times.