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As I was reading a sample essay in preparation for my upcoming exam, I wondered if I can change the conjunction in this sentence to make it sound more right and more logical - I think the two clauses are things happening at the same time instead of something contrasting with the former.

I do not think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person, but that both have powerful effects.

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    It sounds funny in my head, I wouldn't imagine it would fit in unless you perhaps reworked the sentence. – Intel Jul 27 at 11:12
  • Separate sentences are probably best to avoid the awkward "I don't choose either A or B, but both." << I do not think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person. No, I think that both have powerful effects. >> – Edwin Ashworth Jul 27 at 12:06
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The sentence is currently written as a negation :

I do not think [this] but [I think that]

Straight substitution could sound confused and appear less right and less logical - as if you had two conflicting thoughts (even though the substance of the thoughts is identical). If you wanted to use "while", the sentence could be written :

Some people think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person, while I think that both have powerful effects.

So the simultaneous event is different people having different thoughts.

Or you could do without the conjunction :

I do not think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person. I think that both have powerful effects.

Having a separate sentence for each thought avoids the simultaneous "this is wrong and that is right" which, even if this and that are different, is expressing both agreement and disagreement in the same sentence - though "this is wrong but that is right" doesn't have the same problem as it is already a negation.

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