How to use "not only A but also B"?

Which sentence makes more sense?

A) Tom plays not only baseball but also football.

B) Tom does not play only baseball but also football.

Which one makes more sense?

C) Tom not only studies hard but also works hard as a class representative.

D) Tom does not only studies hard but also works hard as a class representative.

I'm studying English.  Thank you in advance.

4 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A makes more sense because B isn't clear whether he does or doesn't play football. C is fine, but D should be Tom not only studies hard...

  • 2 months ago

    these all turn on the issue of what is being shared between two common predicates.  For example, C works (if you put in the comma before "but") because you share the subject "Tom".  B would be the best choice for the first sentence, because you need to share "Tom does not play only...".  (then dump either football or baseball as the predicate).  again, you need a comma.

    this, or that.  this, but not that.  Not just this, but also that.  The "But" is used to indicate a contradiction to the initial declaration, and since the initial declaration is "plays only baseball" or "not only/just/simply/uniquely studies hard", you would want to use "But" for the introduction of the contrary (the thing proving that "only/just" is incorrect).

  • 2 months ago

    No "buts" - when you use "but," you tend to devalue the first half of the sentence. 

    Not only does Tom play baseball, he also plays football. 

    Not only does Tom study hard, he also works hard as class representative.

  • 2 months ago

    A and C are best. Your understanding of it is correct. In B I would change it to: Tom does not only play baseball, but also plays football. D is using parallelism better.  NB: If using 'not only but also' starts to make your sentences clumsy, you can use: moreover, besides, as well as, similarly, and equally important within context..

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