|1. Two sentences||and||John hit the ball, and he ran to first base.|
|2. Two dependent that clauses||and||The book that you enjoyed and that won the award has finally arrived at the store.|
|3. Two adverbial clauses||and||He enjoyed the movie because his favorite actor starred and because the special effects required computer technology.|
|4. Three prepositional phrases||but||John hit the ball over the pitcher’s head, between the legs of the short stop, but into the waiting glove of the outfielder.|
|5. Two subjects||and||Lincoln and Jefferson rank among our greatest presidents.|
|6. Two verbs||but||Lucy waited for two hours but then decided to leave.|
|7. Two direct objects||or||Lucy wants the apple or the orange|
not only X but (also) Y X = Y (in grammatical function) X = Y (in grammatical form)The key lies in the placement of the words. Carefully line up the first structure after the words not only and then the second structure performing the same grammatical function immediately after the but or but also. Check out these four examples:
Not only the CEO but the entire Board of Directors attended the press conference.2. not only [verb] but also [verb]
The reporter not only contacted her sources but also spent many hours in the library.3. not only [prepositional phrase] but [prepositional phrase]
He retraced his steps not only along the trail but throughout the camp.4. not only [entire sentence] but [entire sentence]
Not only did the court reverse the lower court, but it sent a message to the police.In the final example, when you use correlative conjunctions to join entire sentences, you’ll have to use an auxiliary verb with the first sentence (did) and invert it, placing the subject between the auxiliary (did) and the main verb (reverse) (not only did the court reverse . . . ). If you wrote the following, you would produce a nonparallel construction:
The court not only reversed the lower court, but it sent a message to the police.Here the not only joins just the verb (reversed) while the but joins an entire independent clause (it sent). Remember the formula X = Y. Here, “verb” does not equal “entire clause.”
Wrong: She not only wanted a hamburger but French fries. Right: She wanted not only a hamburger but French fries.In the above example the first part of the pair, not only, joins the verb wanted. But the second part of the pair, but, joins the direct object French fries. The rule of parallel construction forbids the joining of a verb with a noun.
Wrong: The coach neither wanted to lose nor to tie. Right: The coach wanted neither to lose nor to tie.Either - Or Mistakes
Wrong: Either you must wear your suit or your tux. Right: Either you must wear your suit, or you must wear your tux. Right: You must wear either your suit or your tux.