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  1. #1
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    Angry AmI right to hate "Not only, ... but also"?

    I edit a lot of English written by Chinese people, and often come across sentences like:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, but also benefits students.

    [This is only a silly example, so please ignore whatever else might be wrong with it. In fact, this example does not upset me as much as others, i just can't think of anything better/worse.]

    I believe it is a direct translation of 不光,... 而且...。

    What I am asking about is whether the "but also" is the best way to start the next part of the sentence.

    Personally, I think this sounds better:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, it benefits students.

    Do people agree with me? Is there something wrong with the use of "Not only... but also"? Is there a place for "Not only, ... but also"?

    Also, I am British, could this be a British/American English thing?

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: AmI right to hate "Not only, ... but also"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Editor View Post
    I edit a lot of English written by Chinese people, and often come across sentences like:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, but also benefits students.

    [This is only a silly example, so please ignore whatever else might be wrong with it. In fact, this example does not upset me as much as others, i just can't think of anything better/worse.]

    I believe it is a direct translation of 不光,... 而且...。

    What I am asking about is whether the "but also" is the best way to start the next part of the sentence.

    Personally, I think this sounds better:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, it benefits students.

    Do people agree with me? Is there something wrong with the use of "Not only... but also"? Is there a place for "Not only, ... but also"?

    Also, I am British, could this be a British/American English thing?
    How would you rephrase "Not only Peter Cook, but also Dudley Moore", for example?

  3. #3
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: AmI right to hate "Not only, ... but also"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Editor View Post
    I edit a lot of English written by Chinese people, and often come across sentences like:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, but also benefits students.

    [This is only a silly example, so please ignore whatever else might be wrong with it. In fact, this example does not upset me as much as others, i just can't think of anything better/worse.]

    I believe it is a direct translation of 不光,... 而且...。

    What I am asking about is whether the "but also" is the best way to start the next part of the sentence.

    Personally, I think this sounds better:

    UsingEnglish.com not only helps teachers, it benefits students.

    Do people agree with me? Is there something wrong with the use of "Not only... but also"? Is there a place for "Not only, ... but also"?

    Also, I am British, could this be a British/American English thing?
    Just try to avoid excessive repetition. Since this is a correct usage of the English language only an immoderate repetition of it throughout the text would annoy the readers.

    Not a native speaker

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: AmI right to hate "Not only, ... but also"?

    I think one problem may be the overuse of certain forms, which often comes from the seeming obsession some exams have with connectors. How often, say, do you use furthermore/moreover? Idon't use them as much as many learners. Not only/but also overuse may be more common amongst Chinese learners, I really couldn't say, but it is not confined to them by any means.

    Sadly for you, as we move towards computer-graded writing, this is likely to increase not decrease.

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