Regarding the (Not only A but also B) structure, I know that we can omit “also”. I would like to know can we omit the word “only”.? I would like to know whether the following sentence is (Not Only … But Also) sentence.

If we turn our gaze to the arguments about justice — not among philosophers but among ordinary people— we find a more complicated picture.

Which meaning is correct? (1) Not only among philosophers, but also among ordinary people (2) Among ordinary people, but not among philosophers

1 Answer 1


(2) is the meaning of the highlighted sentence.

Not among philosophers has the opposite meaning to not only among philosophers but...

  • As @Kate said, ‘not among philosophers’ is negative. With 'not only' used here, it may at best be Not among non-philosophers only” (which may not be the intended meaning) but among ordinary people also… Perhaps the intended sense is, "Among not only the philosophers, but also ordinary people..."
    – Ram Pillai
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 5:01

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