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Friends, would you please tell me if I use "Not only,but also" correctly?

1- Not only have these conditions been not prepared in developed countries, but developing countries also have not accepted them.
2- Not only have not these conditions been prepared in developed countries, but also have developing countries not accepted them.
3- Not only have these conditions not been prepared in developed countries, but (also) in developing countries.

Could you tell me which sentence is correct, where is the right location of 'not' in the above examples and can we ignore the verb after 'but also' like example 3?
In the end, do you have any better idea to write the mentioned example in a more formal form? Thanks a lot.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Regarding your primary question of the position of 'not' following a sentence that starts with 'Not only..', the third option seems correct. Because, the verb to be negated is 'been prepared' and therefore, the position of 'not' would be right before it.

But I have my doubts whether the 'Not only..but also' sentence structure is the right choice to convey the meaning you wish to convey.

Something like...

These conditions have neither been prepared in developed countries, nor been accepted in developing countries

...feels much less complex, but conveys pretty much the same meaning as far as I understand

Edit : And as @nonchip said, omitting the 'also' doesn't seem to be good idea.

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Thanks, but I want to know what is the exact difference between: Not only ('have these conditions not been prepared', 'have not these conditions been prepared' and 'have these conditions been not prepared') in developed.... –  A.Gh Aug 13 '13 at 8:15
1  
@A.Gh, This is probably one situation where 'correctness' is pretty much subjective and depends on what feels right. Though there's nothing wrong per se with the position of 'not' in the other two options, the third option simply follows the convention and puts the 'not' in a position that causes no confusion. It also seems to give a flow to the sentence because it is immediately followed by the verb form 'been prepared' :) Playing around with sentence structure is widely used in literature, though. –  Sachin Aug 13 '13 at 9:13

the third sentence is correct, but I'd avoid omitting the "also". ignoring the verb eliminates information, because the developing countries are not refusing to prepare, but accept them.

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Please write answers in standard English format - this is an "English language & usage" site! Also, please explain why #3 is 'correct' and the others are wrong, so as to help the OP and other users apply the information to other scenarios. –  TrevorD Aug 13 '13 at 14:15

Sentence (3) seems to have a different intended meaning from (1) and (2).

There is a complication in changing from a passive to an active construction when moving from the 'not only' to the 'but also' strings.

Sachin's rewrite is vastly better.

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I find sentences 1 & 2 awkward (at best) because of the positioning of "not":

  1. Not only have these conditions been not prepared in developed countries, but developing countries also have not accepted them.
  2. Not only have not these conditions been prepared in developed countries, but also have developing countries not accepted them.

As @EdwinAshworth has commented, sentence 3 has a different meaning because the other two sentences refer to acceptance by developing countries, whereas the last sentence refers (implicitly) to preparation by developing countries:

3- Not only have these conditions not been prepared in developed countries, but (also) in developing countries.

Although I'm not 100% certain what you're trying to say, my suggestion of rewording while retaining your words as closely as possible, would be to adopt the first part of your sentence 3, with a modified version of the last part of your sentence 1:

Not only have these conditions not been prepared in developed countries, but neither have developing countries accepted them.
Not only have these conditions not been prepared in developed countries, but neither have they been accepted by developing countries.

Of those, I prefer the latter because the second part more closely reflects the first part:

Not only have these conditions not been prepared in developed countries, but neither have [the conditions] been accepted by developing countries.

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