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“Not Only But Also” – Important Rules and Examples

“Not Only But Also” – Important Rules and Examples

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Understanding how to use “not only… but also” can enhance the way we structure our sentences, providing emphasis and adding a sophisticated touch to our writing. This correlative conjunction pairs two items or ideas, suggesting that both have equal importance or relevance. It’s particularly useful when we want to highlight not just one, but two reasons, qualities, actions, or situations simultaneously.

Not Only But Also | Rules


Used in formal contexts

  • To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream. Not only plan, but also believe.

“Also”  sometimes can be left out.

  • Home is not only where it is, but who they are.

In case there’s is no main verb or auxiliary verb, we can use do, does, did.

  • Not only did you forget my birthday, but you also didn’t even apologize for forgetting it!

If we want to emphasis on ST, we can put “not only” at the beginning of the clause. 

  • Not only are mothers not paid but also most of their boring or difficult work is unnoticed. (invert the subject and the verb)

Not Only But Also | Structure

Subject + Verb + not only + Adverb + but also + Adverb

  • She speaks English not only naturally but also fluently.
  • Mark works not only carefully but also effectively.

Subject + Verb + not only + Adjective + but also + Adjective

  • He is not only kind but also handsome.
  • He is not only short but also fat.

Subject + not only + Verb + but also + Verb

  •  She not only study hard but also plays hard.
  • They not only speak Korean but also speak Chinese.

Subject + Verb + not only + Noun + but also + Noun

  • I like not only ice cream but also yogurt.
  • They visited not only Singapore but also India.

Practical Applications

In this section, we’ll explore how the phrase “Not Only But Also” enriches communication in two specific areas: academic writing and speech and rhetoric.

Academic Writing

In academic writing, we use “Not Only But Also” to emphasize that our claims or findings have multiple layers. For instance, we might say, “Our research not only sheds light on the cell’s life cycle but also provides insights for potential medical breakthroughs.” Here’s how this structure adds value:

  • Complexity: It shows we’re considering all aspects of a subject.
  • Breadth: It signifies that our work has a range of implications.

Speech and Rhetoric

When we speak, “Not Only But Also” serves as a powerful rhetorical device. In persuasion, it can assert the versatility of an argument or idea. For example:

“We must protect the rainforest not only because it houses countless species but also because it is crucial for our planet’s climate stability.”

This structure helps us achieve:

  • Emphasis: It heightens the importance of our points.
  • Persuasion: It compacts substantial arguments into a memorable phrase.

Interactive Exercises

Instructions: Rewrite each sentence using the “not only… but also” structure to emphasize the dual characteristics or actions mentioned. After you’ve written your own version, compare it with the provided answer below.

  1. She is a talented musician and a skilled painter.
  2. The car is fast and very comfortable.
  3. The restaurant offers delicious food and an excellent service.
  4. He speaks Spanish and French fluently.
  5. The phone has a long battery life and a high-resolution camera.
  6. The movie was entertaining and thought-provoking.
  7. The job requires technical skills and good communication.
  8. This area is known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails.
  9. The book provides historical facts and engaging narratives.
  10. She made contributions to science and to education.


  1. She is not only a talented musician but also a skilled painter.
  2. The car is not only fast but also very comfortable.
  3. The restaurant offers not only delicious food but also excellent service.
  4. He not only speaks Spanish but also French fluently.
  5. The phone has not only a long battery life but also a high-resolution camera.
  6. The movie was not only entertaining but also thought-provoking.
  7. The job requires not only technical skills but also good communication.
  8. This area is known not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its hiking trails.
  9. The book provides not only historical facts but also engaging narratives.
  10. She made contributions not only to science but also to education.

Not Only But Also | Image

"Not Only But Also" - Important Rules and Examples

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide rules and examples for using ‘not only … but also’ in a sentence?

When we use “not only … but also,” we’re dealing with a correlative conjunction that connects two parts of a sentence that are equally important. Rules for using it include maintaining parallel structure, meaning that the parts of speech after “not only” and “but also” should match. For example, “She not only plays the violin but also excels at the piano.”How can I invert a sentence using ‘not only … but also’?

To invert a sentence with “not only … but also,” we start the sentence with the phrase “not only,” followed by the auxiliary verb and subject, which creates a more dramatic effect. For instance, “Not only did he finish the project, but he also won the science fair.”

Could you give me 10 examples of sentences using ‘not only … but also’?

We’d be glad to. Here are 10 examples:

  1. “The car is not only economical but also environmentally friendly.”
  2. “He is not only intelligent but also very hardworking.”
  3. “They are not only talented but also very dedicated to their craft.”
  4. “She was not only a teacher but also a mentor to me.”
  5. “The movie was not only entertaining but also thought-provoking.”
  6. “The software is not only user-friendly but also feature-rich.”
  7. “He speaks not only English but also French fluently.”
  8. “They sell not only books but also rare manuscripts.”
  9. “The recipe is not only simple but also delicious.”
  10. “She not only wrote the report but also presented it brilliantly.”

What are some alternatives to using ‘not only … but also’ in a sentence?

Alternatives that we can use include phrases such as “both … and,” “as well as,” or using “in addition to” for a similar effect. For example, “She both plays the guitar and sings.” or “He excels in math as well as in science.”

How can I correctly use ‘not only … but also’ when it begins a sentence?

When beginning a sentence with “not only,” ensure that the sentence doesn’t become fragmented. Usually, “not only” is followed by the auxiliary verb and then the subject. For example, “Not only does the app save time, but it also reduces errors.”


Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Is it incorrect if I put "not only" at the beginning and not invert the sentence?


Friday 19th of March 2021

I love english


Monday 23rd of March 2020

Is this sentence above correct? She not only study hard but also plays hard. Shouldn't it read as follows? She not only studIES hard but also plays hard.


Wednesday 13th of January 2021

Correct Joe. Studies

Thawun lwar

Friday 28th of February 2020

John is my pupil. Sam is my pupil. Not only John but also Sam is my pupil*/ pupils*. Which one is correct? Please explain this to me.


Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Mark works not only careless but also hasty. In this sentence adverbs should be used because they modify the verb 'works'. the correct from of the sentence is : Mark works not only carelessly but also hastily. Thanks


Monday 19th of August 2019

Can we write like the following? Not only does Mark work careless but also hastily.