Learn to use "Not only ----- but also" correctly

Not only ----- but also

The conjunction 'Not only ----- but also' is another interesting conjunction.
It is used to show
  • Either two qualities of one subject or
  • A common quality of two subjects.

1) She is not only beautiful but also intelligent.
2) Not only the father but also his daughter is a renowned surgeon.

Remember the simple trick shown below:

Trick 1: If one person has two qualities
SubjectHelping verbNot only1st Quality/ActionBut also2ndQuality/Action
Sheisnot onlybeautifulbut alsointelligent.

Trick 2: If two persons have one quality
Not onlyPerson 1But alsoPerson 2Helping verbQuality/Action
Not onlythe fatherbut alsohis daughteris arenowned surgeon.

From the above 2 examples we deduce that:

1) Here the 'helping verb' is should be used according to the nature of the subject and nature of tense.
2) It is not necessary that every sentence using 'not only ---- but also' is always followed by a helping word.

Here are some of the common mistakes we commit in the usage of this conjunction. Also provided is the right way to speak/ write each sentence.

1. She not only ate apples but also ate grapes.
   She ate not only apples but also grapes.

2. Incorrect: The little girl was beautiful and clever
   Correct: The little girl was not only beautiful but also clever.

3. Incorrect: Not only he is clever but trustworthy.
   Correct: He is not only clever but also trustworthy.