Grammar For You


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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Grammar Bytes: Not only .......but also

Not Only………. But Also………

The structure not only … but also … is used to denote something or someone that has more than one quality, or has done more than one action. 
The not only…but also construction is generally used in formal situations.

  1. Richard is not only rich, but also magnanimous.
  2. The forest had not only beautiful birds but also dangerous animals.
  3. Rachel played not only tennis, but also squash.
Ú Parallelism (similarity by matching or corresponding) should be the objective when we use the structure not only … but also …
The words following both parts of this correlative conjunction (that is, not only and but also) should belong to the same parts of speech. For instance, if a verb follows not only, then a verb should also follow but also. If we use different parts of speech after each part of not only . . . but also making the sentence uneven and unrefined.
Study the examples below:
  1. He is not only gifted but also has an extreme nature of playfulness.
  2. He is not only gifted but also humorous.
Both sentences mean the same thing, but the first is imbalanced and looks awkward.
The adjective gifted follows not only, while the dependent phrase has an extreme nature of playfulness follows but also.
In the second sentence, the adjectives gifted and humorous follow not only and but also, making the sentence parallel and, thus, graceful.
Ú Not only…but also can come:
1.      the main subject and verb, separating a list that the main verb presents:
  • Indira likes not only apples but also oranges.
2.      a clause (following objects and direct objects) to show the qualities of the main clause.
  • We go for swimming not only when it was sunny, but also when it was raining.
3.      If we want to give extra emphasis, the subject and verb following not only must be inverted.
§  Not only was Sheela clever but she was also very sharp
Ú We need not always use also: it can be either omitted or substituted by too at the end:
  • Not only did I bring my sister to the city; I also found a good job for her.
  • The teachers were not only learned, but helpful too.