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I don't know if the question I am going to ask sounds stupid to some of you. I just looked up for the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan. And I was about to write the definition of "vegan" in my own words but I think there is something I need to ask before I finally write it. Let's just read my own definition of the word "vegan" first and then I'll move on elaborating a little more on my question.

Vegan A person who not only consumes meat, fish and poultry items but also other animal products like milk, egg, yogurt, cheese, etc.

Now normally when we are using Present Indefinite Tense, we use "don't" and "doesn't" to make a negative statement. But what in this particular case? Is it okay to use "not only" or "doesn't only" in this particular case?

A person who not only consumes meat, fish and poultry....

or

A person who doesn't only consume meat, fish and poultry...

The first one sounds natural to me but looks grammatically incorrect. The second one looks grammatically correct but doesn't sound natural to me.

I am not a native speaker, so I have no idea which one of them should be picked. Kindly guide me in this regard.

Regards,

Aamir the Global Citizen

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    Your example is fundamentally flawed in a way only tangential to your question. You need an additional negative in each of the two clauses. "A vegan is a person who not only does not consume meat, fish, and poultry, but also avoids other animal products like milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, etc." – Richard Winters Mar 16 '17 at 7:25
  • Both are grammatical but have different senses – curiousdannii Mar 16 '17 at 7:27
  • @Aamir, the meaning of the word 'vegan' is "a person who does not eat or use animal products". But your 'not only...but also' used sentence says that a vegan consumes all animal products as well as fish! The sentence should have been like, "He does not consume not only meat, fish and poultry items but also other animal products like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. The parallelism is an important point to be noted in sentences with correlative conjunctions like 'not only...but also'. – mahmud koya Mar 16 '17 at 7:49
  • Thanks to both Richard Winters and Mahmud Koya for drawing my attention to a big mistake I made while writing the definition. My definition was quite the opposite of what Vegan meant. The idea of what vegan is was clear in my mind but I couldn't explain it the right way. – Aamir the Global Citizen Mar 17 '17 at 4:21
  • And what are those different senses curiousdannii. Can you please elaborate on them? – Aamir the Global Citizen Mar 17 '17 at 4:23
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Grammatically, your second option "A person who doesn't only consume..." is correct.

Literally, neither of them are correct; vegans do not use any animal products. The sentence

A vegan is a person who doesn't only consume meat, fish and poultry items but also other animal products like milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, etc.

means "Vegans don't just eat animal flesh; they also eat animal products like milk, eggs, etc"

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