not only... but also

not only... but also
This construction is common in the speech and writing of many persons who probably have no idea that they are using correlative conjunctions: "Not only Fred but also Lynn and Susie are planning to go." "She was not only cold but also hungry." Two problems arise in connection with this construction: (1) when to use it and (2) where to place the words. The phrase not only implies "partly," so that it is normally followed by but also (or some equivalent word or phrase like as well, in addition, moreover, furthermore, or too). It makes no sense to say "It was partly this, but that." It does make sense to say "It was partly this, but also that." However, some constructions do not require the use of also. Also should be dropped from a sentence such as "Diane is not only a dancer, but also an excellent dancer." Another point: the not only... but also construction is overused in many instances where and would do as well and save wordage. It is correct to write "Not only my hopes but also my definite plans centered on becoming a chemist." It also is correct (and less wordy) to say "My hopes and definite plans centered...."
     Correctly placing the words in this construction depends upon parallelism, which requires that the parts of speech or grammatical constructions following not only and but also be parallel (of the same kind). Revise a sentence such as "Kelly said that Marian not only knew Don but also Don's brother" to read "Kelly said that Marian knew not only Don but also Don's brother" (a noun to follow each part of the construction). If the construction following not only is an infinitive, that which follows but also should be an infinitive as well: a clause follows a clause, a phrase follows a phrase, and so forth.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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