Pearson Adult Learning Centre Home
Pearson Adult Learning Centre
  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (July 17, 2007)

The Inseparable "Not Only . . . But Also"

What is wrong with this sentence? "Green spaces are not only pretty, they are globally important."

If you answered that the "but" is missing in the second clause, good for you! The sentence should read, more correctly, "Green spaces are not only pretty, but globally important."

Besides being correct, the second example has one fewer word. Unfortunately, as Warren Clement notes in his Globe and Mail column, "Word Play," that the "most common sin is to drop the 'but.'"

That, and faulty parallel construction. He reminds us to "make the two parts parallel." If a verb follows "not only" then one will surely follow the "but also," he goes on to say.

Be sure to practice this useful construction and get it right the first time!



See our most recent tips.

Tips from November 2001 to April 2002

Tips from September 2000 to October 2001.

Tips from January to August 2000
Tips from January to December 1999


Visit our Contact Us page to send email to the centre.
Copyright 1997 to 2009 Pearson Adult Learning Centre, New Westminster School District 40
Web Site Created by The Educated Web
Last modified: July 31, 2009