Does the sentence, "Charles is not only persistent, he is also driven to gain new knowledge" need a conjunction? Or is this a comma splice?

  • Where would you find room for the conjunction? And why the word 'also' after you said 'not only'? Mar 1, 2017 at 22:22
  • I guess the thinking would be that the word "but" should be before "he". However, I don't feel like it needs it. Mar 1, 2017 at 22:26
  • ... It's got one. Mar 1, 2017 at 22:26
  • I should have specified coordinating conjunction my question. My bad. I realize the sentence is not well written, particularly with the "also" in the second clause, but is this grammatically correct as written? I'm mainly asking because of a potential test question. I'm arguing that this sentence cannot be eliminated as a potential answer choice due to it technically being a sound sentence, but I am not 100% sure. Mar 1, 2017 at 22:29
  • 1
    Neither a "but" nor an "also" are essential. One could say " Charles is not only persistent, he is driven to gain new knowledge". However, the "also" improves understanding, in my view. The "but" is entirely optional.
    – WS2
    Mar 1, 2017 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


The sentence sounds grammatically correct as it stands. It doesn't have a comma splice, and it already has a conjunction.

A comma splice requires the parts on both sides of the comma to be complete (or main) sentences:

A comma splice, also called a run-on, occurs when a writer has connected two main clauses with a comma alone. A main clause makes a complete thought, so you should not find a wimpy comma struggling to join two such powerful clauses. - Grammar Bytes!

In your quote, "Charles is not only persistent" is not main clause because "not only ... but also" is a correlative conjunction - both parts must occur within the same main clause as a pair.

Although your quote doesn't include the word "but" before "also", the "Charles is not only ..., he is also ..." structure it uses is an acceptable variant.

  • Thank you all so much for your input. You helped my understanding a bunch. Mar 2, 2017 at 3:38

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