I am looking for proper alternatives to the "not...but..." construction, which is used to refute an assumption and draw attention to a new point. Example:

The park was known not for its amenities, but for its location.

It could be rephrased like this:

The park was not known for its amenities; it was known for its location.

but this sentence doesn't contain all of the nuance of the original.

Is there an interesting way to rephrase my example sentence, while still retaining the emphatic effect of "not...but..."?

My reason for this request: I've used this construction numerous times in a piece of writing, and repetitious structures can bore the reader. I am trying to switch my sentences up.

  • Any particular reason you don't want to use the not..but construction as-is?
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 16, 2016 at 12:14
  • The semicolon above is a contrastive separator, so imho it caries exactly the same "nuance" as using the word but. Apr 16, 2016 at 12:19
  • @DanBron I edited my post per your inquiry.
    – Kyle
    Apr 16, 2016 at 12:20
  • @FumbleFingers Maybe you're right about the two sentences having an identical meaning. I may be overthinking this.
    – Kyle
    Apr 16, 2016 at 12:24
  • @Kyle, FumbleFingers is right that they contain the same nuance. I don't think you're overthinking it, I think you're just conflating nuance with eloquence. The rephrasal certainly doesn't read as eloquently as the original.
    – Patrick
    Jan 25, 2021 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


The park was known for its location rather than its amenities.

rather than- used for saying that one thing is preferred to another or happens instead of another

Doug chose to quit rather than admit that he’d made a mistake.

Rather than criticizing your husband, why not find out if there’s something wrong?

We want the matter settled sooner rather than later.McMillan


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