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  1. #1
    wynnmyintuu's Avatar
    wynnmyintuu is offline Junior Member
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    use of possessive determiner in "either .... or" and "not only .... but also".

    Which of the following is correct:
    Not only he but also his brother has his problem.
    (or)
    Not only he but also his brother has their problems.

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: use of possessive determiner in "either .... or" and "not only .... but also".

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    Which of the following is correct:
    Not only he but also his brother has his problem.
    (or)
    Not only he but also his brother has their problems.
    I think what you mean to say is

    Not only he but also his brother has his problems.

  3. #3
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    Re: use of possessive determiner in "either .... or" and "not only .... but also".

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    I think what you mean to say is

    Not only he but also his brother has his problems.
    Not necessarily; if it's just one problem, then you would not write it in the plural. "He has a drinking problem. She has a drinking problem. They have a drinking problem." Two people can share the same problem.

    As for the OP: I find both sentences awkward, because if you remove the words "not only" and "but also his brother," you are left with "he has his problem." That seems awkward and redundant to me; of course he has his problem, whose problem would he have? I assume your reader already knows what the problem is. If so, you could write, "not only he, but also his brother, has that problem."

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