Is it proper English to say:

"With method A, the goal is not so to perform task B but (rather) to address problem C."

Are there other more appropriate/elegant ways to convey the same meaning?

  • 1
    The typical phrasing is "not so much to...". You may prefer to ask this question on our sister site for people new to English, English Language Learners. – Dan Bron May 1 '15 at 13:28

Use either "not so much" or "not", but not "not so".

  1. With A, the goal is not so much X as it is Y.

  2. With A, the goal is not X but Y.

The first means that the goal is more Y than X. The second means that the goal is not at all X; it is instead Y.

  • thanks. is proposition 1 adequate in writing? Or would you rather use another turn of phrase? – Antoine Apr 19 '15 at 18:40
  • Dunno what you mean by adequate in writing? There is nothing particularly vulgar or informal about it, if that's what you are asking. It would occur in any kind of writing I'm familiar with. – Drew Apr 19 '15 at 18:42

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