since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
ESL Downloads - click 4 FREE stuff

the (only) thing is

This page is about the conversational phrase the (only) thing is

Meaning

You can say this before giving your reason for refusing an offer, a request or a suggestion.

For example

  • "Can you come to our party?"
    "I'd love to, but the thing is I've got an exam the next day and I have to study."

  • "My brother would love that job."
    "I know he would. The only thing is, I've already told my cousin he can have it."

Quick Quiz

He said, "Can I stay at your place?" and I said, "The only thing is

a. my apartment's so nice."

b. my apartment's really tiny."

c. you can stay as long as you like."

Contributor: Matt Errey