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Some Explanations: Not only...But Also, As Well As, Both

My friends, I decided to post this blog to explain how to use so called inclusives as the sentence with one of them causes a lot of problems on my current test. I came across such mistakes in many blogs and it is time to tell you about such constructions.

The expressions not only ... but also, both ... and, and as well as mean in addition to. Like entities must be used together (noun with noun, adjective with adjective, etc.). All forms must be parallel.



The correlative conjunctions not only ... but also must be used as a pair in joining like entities. The word also can be omitted, but it is preferable not to omit it.

  • Subject + verb + not only + (1) + but also + (2)

where both (1) and (2) can be

-        Nouns

-        Adjectives

-        Adverbs

-        Prepositional phrases.



  • Subject + not only + verb + but also + verb


 Robert is not only talented but also handsome.             

Tom plays not only the guitar but also the violin.                                                      

We writes not only correctly but also neatly.                    

Maria excels not only in mathematics but also in science.

Tom not only plays the piano but also composes music.


Make sure that the not only clause immediately precedes the phrase to which it refers.

Pay attention to the following examples.


Incorrect: He is not only famous in Italy but also in Switzerland.

Correct: He is famous not only in Italy but also in Switzerland.

I'd also like to show how to satr with NOT ONLY. In this case there must be the inversion. Look at this sentence:

Tom not only plays the piano but also composes music.

We can also say:

Not only does he play the piano, but he also composes music.



The general structure of the sentence is the following

  • Subject + verb + (1) + as well as + (2)

where (1) and (2) are the same as for not only… but also


  • Subject + verb + as well as + verb ...

Robert is talented as well as handsome.

Tom plays the guitar as well as the violin.

He writes correctly as well as neatly.

Marta excels in mathematics as well as in science .

Tom plays the piano as well as composes music.


When using as well as to indicate a compound subject, the phrase should be set off by commas. The verb will agree with the principal subject, not with the noun closest to it.

The teacher, as well as her students, is going to the concert.

My cousins, as well as Tim, have a test tomorrow.


These correlative conjunctions appear as a pair in a sentence.

  • Subject + verb + both + (1) + and + (2).

where (1) and (2) are the same as for not only… but also.


  • Subject + both + verb… + and + verb…

Robert is both talented and handsome.

Beth plays both the guitar and the violin.

He writes both correctly and neatly.

Marta excels both in mathematics and in science .

Tom both plays the piano and composes music.


  • I have to add the following:These constructions are mutually exclusive. It means that we can use only one of them in a sentence.

         Incorrect: He is good both at math and at physics as well.

         Correct: He is good both at math and at physics


                       He is good at math as well as at physics .

  • In all constructions (1) and (2) must be parallel. Firstly, they must be the same parts of speech as I have said at the very beginning. Secondly, if there are articles, prepositions, etc., they must be the same in both parts.

         Incorrect: Beth plays both the guitar and violin.

         Correct: Beth plays both the guitar and the violin.

         Incorrect: I have been not only to Europe but also Asia.

          Correct: I have been not only to Europe but also to Asia.

And now, I will ask you to practice a little and to write some sentences using these constructions. And, of course, you can ask me any questions as usual.

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Tags: grammar

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Comment by Diah on Tuesday
What a great lesson, Sir! Keep sharing with us becuase it's really helpful.
Comment by Danny Clark on Monday

Thank you, Onee! "Lose out" is OK in this context

Comment by Onee-chan on May 20, 2017 at 13:43

Teacher, you know...

If you write this kind of blogs, the viewers will be increasing continuously. Why? Because people nowadays will look up through internet to find the answer for grammar they doubt. And if they find the article in your blog and find it useful, they will know about EC and more members will arise. You will never lose out by writing this. :) [I'm not sure using phrasal verb 'lose out' :p]

Keep writing this kind of blog, Sir. :)

Comment by Danny Clark on May 19, 2017 at 12:48

Dear Bimal, I have already posted many blogs like this and will go on. Thanks for your nice comment

Comment by Bimal on May 18, 2017 at 15:29

Thank You Very Much, SIR!

Your detailed description is worthwhile. So, I kindly request you; please include a number of blogs of this category for the benefit of nonnative English speakers. Good Luck!

Comment by Danny Clark on May 17, 2017 at 14:40

Dear Expector, thanks! Sure, your example is good in spoken English, but as far as I know now, there are some rules for the written text. They are called Standard of written English. As our learners write here and not only here, it is a nice idea to tell them about such rules. As a matter of fact, your example is "parallel", LEARN and TEACH are both verbs.

Comment by Expector Smith on May 17, 2017 at 14:25

Good job, Danny!

Yes, the 'parallel' is the key. Some learners here, however, may have noticed that sentences with 'not only' can be 'unparallel' or 'not be that parallel', for example, "MyEC members not only learn English, they teach English." ('but' or 'but also' is omitted)

How about this sentence "Not only does he play the piano, he composes music"? 

Comment by Danny Clark on May 15, 2017 at 17:23

Dear Rose, you live in Europe! It is for you to decde what to say but I think it is a good idea to know the difference.

Comment by Rose on May 15, 2017 at 16:48

thanks again, dear danny, I will use it correctly from now on.

Comment by Danny Clark on May 15, 2017 at 15:47

Dear Rose, I am not British, but we speak the same language. American vocabulary is a little different. So, you are right. British say so. I mean they say "on holiday" meaning "on vacation". Oh, boy! I hope they will not read this! Otherwise, they will say Americans say "on vacation" meaning "on holiday"! Hahaha! But if we speak about meaning of the words, HOLIDAY is a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. VACATION is an extended period of recreation, esp. one spent away from home or in traveling. So, in American English we use these words like this:

HOLIDAY is a national holiday or (in figurative sense) my personal holiday.

VACATION is is a fixed period of the year when universities, colleges, schools, are officially closed, when working people don't work, when those who don't work (retired people) travel.

In America we ask, "Are you on business or for pleasure here?"

So, "to be on holiday" may be common in Europe, but sounds a little strange for me. I would use at least plural! Hahaha!

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