Both … and

Join sentence elements with paired expressions

movie
 

 

Addition

BOTH… AND

Both X and Y join like (same word form) elements in a sentence. This is a correlative conjunction.

NOUNS

Both the movie and the play were good.   (plural verb form)

I liked both the movie and the play. 

MODIFIERS

The actors were both engaging and skillful in their performances.

The plot moved both swiftly and artfully throughout the movie.

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The directors wanted both to win and to receive recognition for their work.

The producers ended up both extending and expanding their filming hours.  

VERBS

Ebert both likes and recommends the movie.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

The movie is being shown both at The Fox Theater and in neighborhood theaters.

NOT ONLY…, BUT (ALSO)

Not only X but also Y: join like (same word form) elements in a sentence. The verb agrees with closest noun. These are focusing adverbs.

NOUNS

Not only the movie but also the play was good.   (verb agrees with 2nd noun)

I liked not only the movie but also the play.

MODIFIERS

The actors were not only engaging but also skillful in their performances.

The plot moved not only swiftly but also artfully throughout the movie.  

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The directors wanted not only to win but also to receive recognition for their work.

The producers ended up not only extending but also expanding their filming hours.

VERBS

Ebert not only likes but also recommends the movie.  

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

The movie is being shown not only at the Fox Theater but also neighborhood theaters. 

 

theater  US-Eng; theatre Br-Eng

The focusing adverbs not only and also draw attention to particular parts of the sentence. See focusing adverbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only… but

Auxiliary Verb Position

 

 

 

Not only with an auxiliary verb

NO AUXILIARY ADDED

When not only is used at the beginning of a sentence, and it joins like (same form) elements of a sentence, no auxiliary verb is used. This is a correlative conjunction.

WORDS AND PHRASES

Not only  you   but also   I   applauded the performance.  (noun + noun)

You and I applauded the performance.   

I like not only to watch movies but also to see plays. (infinitive + infinitive)

I like to watch movies and see plays

AUXILIARY BEFORE SUBJECT AND VERB

When not only is used at the beginning of a sentence and joins two clauses, the auxiliary verb of the not only clause is placed before the subject. This is a coordinating conjunction.

CLAUSES

Not only did  I applaud, but I also stood up.
move overmove auxiliary before subject

I applauded the performance, and I stood up.

Not only do  I like to watch movies, but I also like to see plays.
move overmove auxiliary before subject

I like to watch movies, and I like to see plays.   move over

 

See focusing adverbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punctuation

Phrases / Clauses

 

 

 

 

Words and Phrases vs. Clauses

WORDS AND PHRASES

no commaNo comma is needed when joining equivalent sentence elements: noun-noun, modifier-modifier, verb-verb or verb-phrase--verb-phrase. This is a correlative conjunction.

We both applauded and stood up (no comma)
We both clapped our hands and stomped our feet

I both liked the movie and loved the play.

CLAUSES

commaA comma is used when joining a dependent clause to an independent clause. This is a coordinating conjunction.

We not only applauded, but we also stood up. (independent clause + dependent clause)

I not only liked the movie, but I also loved the play.

 

Also see Independent clauses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negative Addition

Neither…nor

 

 

 

Neither…nor  (but not either…or)

NEITHER…NOR

Use neither…nor for negative addition: Not X  AND not Y. When neither… nor begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb precedes the subject.

NOUNS

Neither the movie nor the play was good.   (singular verb form)

I liked neither the movie nor the play.

MODIFIERS

The plot was neither believable nor engaging.

The director spoke neither specifically nor excessively about the project.

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The actors tried neither to overplay nor to underplay their roles.

They objected to the movie neither following the book nor keeping the central theme
 

VERBS

I neither liked nor would recommend the movie.

move overmove before subject
Neither did I like nor would recommend the movie. Move the auxiliary verb in front of the subject.

EITHER …OR  (PREFERENCE!)

The expression either…or is not related to neither nor.  In contrast, it indicates "no preference", one or the other, or a condition

NOUNS

Either the movie or the play was good. I can't remember.  

I didn't like either the movie or the play. They were both bad.
 

MODIFIERS

The plot was either believable or unbelievable depending on the viewer's perspective.

The director spoke either briefly or excessively about his project  depending on how much free time he had. (one or the other)
 

INFINITIVES & GERUNDS

The actors tried either to overplay or to underplay their roles.  (I don't know what they did, but it wasn't effective in the movie.) (one or the other)

They objected to either following the book or keeping the central theme. (one or the other)

VERBS

Either I like a movie or I hate it. There is nothing in-between. (one or the other)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Either…or

No Preference / Condition

 

 

 

Either…or / Either…or (else)

EITHER… OR  

The paired conjunction either…or expresses that someone does not remember or does not have a preference (doesn't wish to decide).

Either you ate the pie or I ate it. I can't remember who did.   (one or the other)

Either you can eat the pie or I'll eat it. I don't really care who eats it.  (no preference)

EITHER… OR ELSE 

The conditional expression either…or else expresses the consequence of a particular action. It is often used as a mild threat.  Including else is optional.

Either you eat the pie, or (else) I will.  (informal Eng. with "either")
You eat the pie, or else I will.   (condition, semi-threat)

You eat the pie. Otherwise, I will.  (condition, alternative)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

the Grand Canyon
 

 

Error and Solution

INCORRECT

*Not only the Grand Canyon is deep but also is wide.  

*Not only the jokes but also the dialog were good.

*Neither I took vacation nor I asked for sick leave.  

*Neither I nor my sons carries a mobile phone.   (Must compare two singular items)
 

SOLUTION

Not only is the Grand Canyon deep but also wide. (adjective + adjective)
Not only is the Grand Canyon deep [is], but also it is wide. (clause + clause) Move the auxiliary verb in front of the subject.

When Not only…but also begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb precedes the subject.

Not only the jokes but also the dialog was good. (The verb agrees with closest noun.)

 

Neither did   I   take vacation, nor did I ask for sick leave.
move overmove before subjectMove the auxiliary verb in front of the subject.

When Neither…nor begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb precedes the subject.

Neither I nor my son carries a mobile phone.  

 

 

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.
Solution - lightbulb Pop-Q "Not only"

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Office Issues (disagreements)

Disagreement

 

Coordinate the sentence parts.

  1. Select the word or phrase from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your responses to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-10" button.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

My Brother and Ibrothers

 

 

Coordinate the sentence parts.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your responses to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 11-20" button.

 

11.

12.
 

13.

14.
 

15.

16.
Neither my brother nor I to disappoint them.

17.
Both my uncles and my father lawyers.

18.
I'm not sure yet.

19.

20.