What's the difference between 只 and 才？When should I use 只 and when 才？Can you give me some example? Thank you
只 is equivalent to "only", a small amount. You would use it to say something like "I have only five bucks", "he's only two years old".
才 is used if you have to have a minimum amount. Examples: "you must be this tall (or taller) to ride", "you have to wait three minutes (or longer)".
He have 3 apples, I just 1. 他有3个苹果，但我“才”1个。 他有3个苹果，但我“只有”1个。
“才” more strongly than “只”，“才”1个 means that you hope you can get more apples. “只有”1个 just says you have one, no other meaning.
All these explanations come from:
"只" If you use 只(only), that means the amount is little. It's just an objective description.
"才" ...you'll see that used in the sense of "more than expected", 才 follows the amount or time; [b] and if 才 precedes the amount or time, the amount or time has the sense of "less than expected". [a]
1.a 从这里到邮局才三分钟 (才 precedes the amount of time) 1.b 车开了三十分钟才到。(才 follows the amount of time)
2.a 我们去玩儿了两天，才花了一百块 (才 precedes the amount of money ) 2.b 我一共花了三百块才买到这个。(才 follows the amount of money)
- And I would add for example 2b : we can also consider that 才 precedes the amount of purchased goods (这个) so the meaning is also "less goods than expected"
wordreference, same link again : 《 However, if we look at the word 只, usage is possible in the following manner: 从这里到邮局只需要三分钟 -- need to add in words like 需要, 用.// 我们去玩儿了两天，只花了一百块。》
- more objective, less feelings . Beware , concerning the other sentences, 只买 只到 would not be correct. It's definitely 才买 才到 .
frequently used : 只有 the amount is little 只是 the level is low