The amount of jobs that have been transferred out of state in the past five years is staggering; not only manufacturing jobs but white-collar ones have moved as well.

Is this appropriate usage of the correlative conjunction? It's comparing two noun phrases, but I'm concerned with the positioning of the verb phrase. Should the sentence be "Not only have manufacturing jobs moved, but white-collar ones have moved as well." Would it be redundant in this case?

Side note: This is an SAT question concerning comparisons.

  • 1
    The verb phrase has simply been elided for a bit of concision. The construction is common, and easily understood. Aug 6, 2014 at 3:21
  • -1 Why concerned with the position of the verb? There's nothing wrong grammatically or otherwise here. (If anything, I say that "amount of jobs" makes me uncomfortable.)
    – Kris
    Aug 6, 2014 at 5:17
  • Your rephrasing conveys a very different meaning with a different focus. It cannot work.
    – Kris
    Aug 6, 2014 at 5:17
  • 'not only .... but also' + 'as well' is a redundancy. Which is worse than the jobs being moved. Aug 6, 2014 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


Pretty much all conjunctions in English can join two (or in some instances more) elements of the same kind: two noun phrases, two verb phrases (ideally of the same form), two verbs, two adverbial phrases, two adjectival phrases etc. Compare:

  • I love (both lemons and oranges)
  • (Both Jack and Jane) love lemons
  • I (both love and dread) lemons
  • I (both (love lemons) and (dread oranges))
  • I love lemons (both unsweetened and (with tons of sugar))
  • I love (both sweet and sour) lemons.

You can't mix and match though, with results ranging from mild irritation to catastrophic failure of interpretation (unless done deliberately for comedic effect):

  • ?I (both (love lemons) and (have been avoiding oranges))
  • *I both love lemons and passionately

You will find that (not only ... but also ...) behaves in the same way. Your first example coordinates two different noun phrases in the subject position; your last example coordinates two whole clauses.

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