Pattern: The Only Thing I Hate Is…

Introduction

There is a native speaking pattern that we use when there is only one exception or case AND we want to emphasize that fact.

The pattern begins with “The only thing (that) I ____ is/was ____.

A variation of this pattern could be: “The one thing (that) I…

Examples

  1. The only thing I didn’t understand was why you said “that” instead of “who”.
  2. The only thing (that) I didn’t get was why the murderer did it.
  3. The only thing I didn’t like was when Rose let Jack die. She could have made room for him on the raft.
  4. The only thing I won’t do is (to) take my clothes off for this job. If you want me to do that, then you can take this job and shove it. (Take your job and go home.)
  5. The only secret I can’t share with my soulmate is … , well, if I can’t tell him, then I certainly can’t tell you, can I?
  6. The only person in this whole world that I truly hate is my ex-wife.
    (“that” could be omitted)
  7. The one thing that I can’t stand is when someone calls me Mrs.
  8. The one thing that I can’t stand is a business that gives me poor service.

Homework Assignment

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write one or two sentences using this “emphasize one thing” pattern. Three, two, one,… begin!

(Some background music for you)

Culture challenge question

Does anyone know why I began my homework assignment with this phrasing?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to …

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