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Good afternoon all,

I was wondering when we chain particles, should "から" come before "だけ", or should it be the other way round?

For example, I'm expecting a mail from 健一, a mail from 健二, and a mail from 健三 (total 3 mails). However only the mail from 健二 arrived. Which sentence below should be used to describe the situation? :

  1. 健二からだけ(が)きた。

  2. 健二だけから(が)きた。

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I think both 健一だけから and 健一からだけ are acceptable. I think 健一からしかメールが来なかった would sound more natural though. (You can't say 健一からだけが... or 健一だけからが...)
And 健一だけにメールした and 健一にだけメールした are both fine to me too.
Ah, but just 健一だけが来た is acceptable and you can't say 健一がだけ来た. (Why? Hmm please someone get me out of here)

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Heys thanks for the help =D Btw are you aware if there are some logical grammar rules we can apply (like to better understand why is "健一からだけが" ungrammatical)? – Pacerier Mar 29 '12 at 13:07
Do they both have exactly the same meaning? – Nathan Ellenfield Mar 29 '12 at 17:04
They both convey the same meaning but the second sentence is better said. – oldergod Mar 30 '12 at 6:35
@Pacerier-san, You can't say からだけが or だけからが because you don't say からが to begin with. 'から'('from') and 'が'(the subject marker) are both 'case particles', so they cannot occur in one single phrase. Here in this case, the subject is メール, so you can say 健一だけからメールが来た. – user1016 Mar 30 '12 at 7:13
@Chocolate Thanks =), Btw I was thinking about this.. would you consider "から" to be a particle or noun-suffix? – Pacerier Apr 1 '12 at 13:01

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