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English Grammar

Using not only ... but also

Students often find it difficult to use the correlative conjunction not only…but also correctly.

When you use not only…but also in a sentence, you have to ensure that not only and but also go immediately before the words or expressions that they modify.

  • She is not only intelligent but also beautiful.

When using a correlative conjunction, both clauses have to be parallel. That means you have to use them before two nouns, two adjectives, two verbs etc. Study the following examples.

  • They need not only food but also shelter. (Here we use nouns (food and shelter) after not only and but also.)
  • She is not only rich but also generous. (Here we use adjectives (rich and generous) after not only and but also.)
  • My uncle not only brought me to the city but also found a good job for me. (Here we use verb phrases after not only and but also.)

Not only can go at the beginning of a sentence. In this case, it is followed by auxiliary verb + subject. If there is no other auxiliary verb, we use do. But can be left out in this case.

Not only did my uncle bring me to the city, but he also found a good job for me.

OR

Not only did my uncle bring me to the city; he also found a good job for me.

Not only is Jack working at a pub, but he is also doing his graduation.

OR

Not only is Jack working at a pub; he is also doing his graduation.

Not only is Susan going to England, but she is also going to France.

OR

Not only is Susan going to England; she is also going to France.

Exercise

Not only...but also | Grammar exercise

See Also

As well as
Using as well as
Not only...but also

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Exercise

Not only...but also | Grammar exercise

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