Use this accurately in writing- NOT ONLY+BUT ALSO



Many test-takers often fail to use a proper sentence variety in their writing and often end-up getting band 6.5.

The 'not only + but also' correlative conjunction is a nice add-up to the sentence variety if one can use it properly.

This conjunction should present two pieces of information in a parallel manner. To know more on parallel structure, please check my other article.

The first information should come after not only and second should come after but also. Generally, in a sentence 'not+only' occur together, whereas 'but+also' may or may not occur together based on the sentence formation.

Let us discuss a few examples.

Example 1.

This progression will not only reduce the unemployed population but also contribute to the nation’s progress.

Here, after not only the verb is 'reduce' and after but also the verb is 'contribute'.

Example 2.

Crime shows on TV not only make people aware of illegal acts but also help in reducing the crime rate.

Here, after not only the verb is 'make' and after but also the verb is 'help'.

Example 3.

Even after weighing over100 Kgs, he is not only fit but agile also.

Here, after not only the adjective is 'fit' and after but also the adjective is 'agile'.

Note: Do not use 'not only+but also' to compare two sides. Instead, use it to show the additional and complementing aspect of the same quality or idea. 
The correlative conjunction comes from the word 'Correlative' which means related to each other.

Not only + but also can also be used as an inversion and to put emphasis.

When we use in this manner, we need to invert sub and verb i.e. verb should come before the subject much like we do in the question sentences. 

For example

Not only was my order delayed by the shipment agency, but it got damaged also.  

Not only does he sing well, but he dances well also. 

Note the use of the comma. According to me, it generally comes when there is a complete sentence after conjunction 'but', much like coordinating conjunction rules, but as per the experts, it is used to show emphasis. Anyways, better to put it when there is a complete sentence after 'but'. 

Also, note that in the second sentence there is no auxiliary verb like is/am/are then we use does/do/did to invert i.e. normally we would have written, "he sings well" but when we inverted that sentence, we used 'does'. 

Another example.

Not only did he refuse to sign the papers, but he tore them into pieces. 

In the exam, if you are able to use this combination of inversion and correlative conjunction, you can be sure of fetching some good bands.

I hope this article will be helpful in your journey to achieve good bands in IELTS exam.

Good Luck!



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