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I'm trying to write this essay and I find myself writing too many "not only ... but also ..." structures. Can you guys help me come up with some alternatives?

Basically, I want this kind of progressive effect:

Doing this is not only fun, but also one of the most important activities of human beings.

How about this one:

He is not only a teacher, but also one of the greatest educators in history.

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  • As Cerberus already noticed, it should be "one of the greatest educators."
    – apaderno
    Mar 8, 2011 at 12:42
  • What do you mean with "progressive effect"?
    – apaderno
    Mar 8, 2011 at 12:51
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/14462/…
    – Robusto
    Mar 8, 2011 at 12:56
  • Progressive effect is like when you say one thing first, but what you really want to emphasize is the thing come after it.
    – xzhu
    Mar 8, 2011 at 13:04

3 Answers 3

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Doing this isn't exclusively fun, it's one of the most important activities of human beings.

Doing this is not purely fun, on the contrary, it's one of the most important activities of human beings.

Doing this is not wholly classified as fun, conversely it's one of the most important activities of human beings.

He is not a mere teacher, he is one of the greatest educators in history.

He is a teacher and more, one of the greatest educators in history.

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  • 1
    The sentences seem run-on sentences.
    – apaderno
    Mar 8, 2011 at 11:08
  • I think so too. Especially the third one, even kind of amusing.
    – xzhu
    Mar 8, 2011 at 11:36
  • Added more to my amusing-ness Mar 8, 2011 at 12:28
  • 1
    But this is not what is asked. "Not only" implies "part of" and here examples antagonize/estrange "fun" with/from "activities of human beings" Mar 8, 2011 at 14:39
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This is an example of a correlative conjunction.

A paired conjunction (such as not only . . . but also) that links balanced words, phrases, and clauses.

The elements connected by correlative conjunctions are usually parallel--that is, similar in length and grammatical form.

You can find a link to a list of other kinds of correlative conjunctions above.

And you can find how to deal with the problems these create here: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/parallelism.htm#correlative

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Doing this is fun, but also one of the most important activities of human beings.
Doing this is fun, and one of the most important activities of human beings.
He is not just a teacher; he is one of the greatest educators in history.
He is not a mere teacher: he is one of the greatest educators in history.

Between the first two sentences I wrote there is a little difference in meaning, though.

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  • @Cerberus: That is true; I merely copied the sentence as written by the OP.
    – apaderno
    Mar 8, 2011 at 12:16
  • Yeah that's what I thought (happens to me too sometimes). Mar 8, 2011 at 12:35

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