tikai

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Latvian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally from tik (such; only) +‎ tai (with loss of the second t), with tai being a form of the demonstrative pronoun tas (that); cf. related particles tikko, tikām. Cognates include Lithuanian tiktaĩ, dialectal tìktai.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Particle[edit]

tikai

  1. used to limit the meaning of a word or expression; only, just
    tikai vienu reizi tur bijām — we have been there only once
    to zina tikai viņšonly he knows that
    nopirku tikai divus kilogramus miltu — I bought only two kilograms of flour
    es nemaz neraudu, es tikai šņaucu degunu — I didn't cry at all, I only snorted (lit. snorted (my) nose)
    šoreiz tas nav azarts, kas atzīst tikai vienu: uzvarēt vai krist — this time, it's not gambling, which recognizs only one (thing): to win or to lose
  2. (in the combination ne tikai) referring to other possibilities, alternatives; not only, not just
    nāk jauna diena? jā gan, un sola / ne tikai laimi, ne tikai prieku — is a new day coming? yes, and it promises / not only happiness, not only joy
    darbs viņam kļuvis patiesi radošs, īsti radošs, ne tikai vārdos tāds — his work became creative, truly creative, not just such in words (i.e., this is not just empty praise)
  3. (syn. tik) used to strengthen or reinforce the meaning of the utterance; just...
    tikai bija pasaka! — that was just a fairy tale!
    skaties, lai visiem tikai pietiktu — (just) make sure that there is enough for everyone
    sēž tikai un pļāpājust sit down and chat
    pamēģini tikai, tad tu redzēsi!just try it, then you'll see!

Conjunction[edit]

tikai

  1. used to link elements, usually indicating limitation of the meaning of the preceding element, or also a contrast with it; just, only
    Jukums bija klusas, labsirdīgas dabas, tikai pārāk bikls un bailīgs — Jukums was of a quiet, kind-hearted nature, (but) just a little too self-conscious and shy
    pusaudži abi vienā balsī apgalvoja, ka cilvēkus mežā neesat redzējuši, tikai vilku — both adolescents confirmed in one voice that they had not seen people in the forest, (but) only wolves
    lūša pēdas atgādina kaķa pēdas, tikai tās ir lielākas — lynx footprints look like cat footprints, only (= with the difference that) they are bigger
    zelta pietiktu vienam vai tūkstotim ļaužu; tikai ne visiem — the gold would be enough for one or for a thousand people; just not for all
  2. (in the sequence ne tikai ... bet arī) used to connect two elements; not only ... but also
    vai tagad jūs, draugi, zināt, kas ir mistrāls? tas ir vējš, kas spēj atnest ne tikai nelaimi, bet arī laimi — do you, friends, know what the mistral is? it is a wind that can bring not only unhappiness, but also happiness
    Taive dzird ne tikai to, kas notiek klasē, bet arī pagalmā un dārzā — Taive hears not only what happens in the classroom, but also (what happens) in the yard and in the garden

References[edit]

  1. ^ “tikai” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7