I have searched several websites, including this forum, for finding information about using a negative clause after "not only." I found that in most cases it's not ungrammatical to use a double negative in "not only...but also". Still, the following sentence seems awkward and ungrammatical to me. Please let me know if it is incorrect, and if yes, how can I rephrase it?

"Not only did the economic growth rate not rise, but it fell."

  • There's no reason to use a negative clause after but only, and there's not reason not to use one. That's because there's no such thing as a "negative clause", and no general rules for their use. Negation is extremely complex, not simple like present vs past tense, or presence vs absence of the. Jul 17, 2020 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


Your sentence (as it stands now, without "also") is perfectly grammatical and clear.

You could emphasise the contrast with but it even fell, or (expressing more surprise) but it actually fell.

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