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Both … and

Join sentence elements with paired expressions

Both…and / Not only, but also

BOTH… AND

Both X and Y join like (same word form) elements in a sentence. This is a
correlative conjunction.

NOUNS

Both the movie and the play were good. (plural verb form)

I liked both the movie and the play.

MODIFIERS

The actors were both engaging and skillful in their performances.

The plot moved both swiftly and artfully throughout the movie.

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The directors wanted both to win and to receive recognition for their
work.

The producers ended up both extending and expanding their filming


hours.

VERBS

Ebert both likes and recommends the movie.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

The movie is being shown both at The Fox Theater and in


neighborhood theaters.

NOT ONLY…, BUT (ALSO)

Not only X but also Y: join like (same word form) elements in a sentence. The
verb agrees with closest noun. These are focusing adverbs.

NOUNS

Not only the movie but also the play was good. (verb agrees with 2nd
noun)

I liked not only the movie but also the play.

MODIFIERS

The actors were not only engaging but also skillful in their
performances.

The plot moved not only swiftly but also artfully throughout the
movie.

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The directors wanted not only to win but also to receiverecognition


for their work.
The producers ended up not only extending but alsoexpanding their
filming hours.

VERBS

Ebert not only likes but also recommends the movie.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

The movie is being shown not only at the Fox Theater but
alsoneighborhood theaters.

Not only… but


Auxiliary Verb Position
Not only with an auxiliary verb

NO AUXILIARY ADDED

When not only is used at the beginning of a sentence, and it joins like (same
form) elements of a sentence, no auxiliary verb is used. This is a correlative
conjunction.

WORDS AND PHRASES

Not only you but also I applauded the performance. (noun +


noun)
You and I applauded the performance.

I like not only to watch movies but also to see plays. (infinitive +
infinitive)
I like to watch movies and see plays.

AUXILIARY BEFORE SUBJECT AND


VERB

When not only is used at the beginning of a sentence and joins two
clauses,the auxiliary verb of the not only clause is placed before the
subject. This is a coordinating conjunction.

CLAUSES

Not only did I applaud, but I also stood up.

I applauded the performance, and I stood up.

Not only do I like to watch movies, but I also like to see plays.

I like to watch movies, and I like to see plays.

Punctuation
Phrases / Clauses
Words and Phrases vs. Clauses

WORDS AND PHRASES


No comma is needed when joining equivalent sentence elements: noun-
noun, modifier-modifier, verb-verb or verb-phrase--verb-phrase. This is
a correlative conjunction.

We both applauded and stood up. (no comma)

We both clapped our hands and stomped our feet.

I both liked the movie and loved the play.

CLAUSES

A comma is used when joining a dependent clause to an independent


clause. This is a coordinating conjunction.

We not only applauded, but we also stood up. (independent clause +


dependent clause)

I not only liked the movie, but I also loved the play.

Negative Addition
Neither…nor
Neither…nor (but not either…or)

NEITHER…NOR

Use neither…nor for negative addition: Not X AND not


Y. When neither… nor begins a sentence and joins two
verbs, the auxillary verb precedes the subject.
NOUNS

Neither the movie nor the play was good. (singular verb form)

I liked neither the movie nor the play.

MODIFIERS

The plot was neither believable nor engaging.

The director spoke neither specifically nor excessively about the


project.
INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The actors tried neither to overplay nor to underplay their roles.

They objected to the movie neither following the book norkeeping


the central theme.

VERBS

I neither liked nor would recommend the movie.

Neither did I like nor would recommend the movie. Move the auxiliary
verb in front of the subject.
EITHER …OR (PREFERENCE!)

The expression either…or is not related to neither nor. In contrast, it indicates


"no preference", one or the other, or a condition

NOUNS

Either the movie or the play was good. I can't remember.

I didn't like either the movie or the play. They were both bad.

MODIFIERS

The plot was either believable or unbelievable depending on the


viewer's perspective.

The director spoke either briefly or excessively about his project


depending on how much free time he had. (one or the other)

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The actors tried either to overplay or to underplay their roles. (I don't


know what they did, but it wasn't effective in the movie.)(one or the other)

They objected to either following the book or keeping the central


theme. (one or the other)

VERBS

Either I like a movie or I hate it. There is nothing in-between. (one or the
other)

Either…or
No Preference / Condition
Either…or / Either…or (else)

EITHER… OR

The paired conjunction either…or expresses that someone does not remember
or does not have a preference (doesn't wish to decide).

Either you ate the pie or I ate it. I can't remember who did. (one or the
other)

Either you can eat the pie or I'll eat it. I don't really care who eats
it. (no preference)

EITHER… OR ELSE

The conditional expression either…or else expresses the consequence of a


particular action. It is often used as a mild threat. Including else is optional.

Either you eat the pie, or (else) I will. (informal Eng. with "either")
You eat the pie, or else I will. (condition, semi-threat)

You eat the pie. Otherwise, I will. (condition, alternative)


Common Mistakes
Errors and Solutions

Error and Solution

INCORRECT

*Not only the Grand Canyon is deep but also is wide.

*Not only the jokes but also the dialog were good.

*Neither I took vacation nor I asked for sick leave.

*Neither I nor my sons carries a mobile phone. (Must compare two


singular items)

SOLUTION

Not only is the Grand Canyon deep but also wide. (adjective + adjective)
Not only is the Grand Canyon deep [is], but also it is wide.(clause +
clause) Move the auxiliary verb in front of the subject.
When Not only…but also begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb
precedes the subject.

Not only the jokes but also the dialog was good. (The verb agrees with
closest noun.)

Neither did I take vacation, nor did I ask for sick leave.

Move the auxiliary verb in front of the subject.

When Neither…nor begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb
precedes the subject.

Neither I nor my son carries a mobile phone.

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

Pop-Q "Not only"


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