but <also> I wouldn't tell anyone about the lottery <either>

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

John says to Chris: "If you were to win the lottery, would you quit your job, and would you boast about it?" Chris replies to John with one of the sentences below.

Sample sentences:

1. Not only would I not quit my job, but also I wouldn't tell anyone about winning the lottery.

2. Not only would I not quit my job, but I wouldn't tell anyone about winning the lottery either.

Question:

Are both versions correct in the context given?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
Last edited:
  • i heart queso

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Actually, I find the sentences a bit awkward with the "but" in there, because you're starting the sentences with "Not only..."

    In my opinion, the correct structure would be:
    1. Not only would I not quit my job, but also I wouldn't tell anyone about winning the lottery. --> This sentence now is incorrect.
    2. Not only would I not quit my job, but I wouldn't tell anyone about winning the lottery either. --> This sentence is correct.

    Thus, I would suggest that the proper sentence is: "Not only would I not quit my job, I wouldn't tell anyone about winning the lottery either."

    And I don't agree that "either" makes it sound informal.

    Best,
    queso
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the explanation, i heart queso.
    The Russians are not in a very strong bargaining position in the Arab world at the moment. Not only have they lost their influence in Egypt, but they also do not have much clout in Syria, even though some 3,000 Soviet technicians remain there. (this link)
    So not only does Noel not want to play Manchester, but he’s also not bothering with the whole of Wales either. (this link)
    Do the bolded parts work in the two quoted sentences?
     

    i heart queso

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Personally, I feel that the "but" in both sentences is unwarranted and they could/should read:
    Not only have they lost their influence in Egypt, they also do not have much clout in Syria, even though some 3,000 Soviet technicians remain there. [or: they do not have much clout in Syria either.]
    So not only does Noel not want to play Manchester, he’s also not bothering with the whole of Wales either. [Here the repetition of "also/either" is optional and I think it adds emphasis.]

    The thing is, in more informal/spoken language, you are likely to hear the constructions above. Your second example comes from a blog post, which is more informally written.

    All that said, I'm hardly a grammar expert. I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people/resources on the Web that can orient you on this topic. E.g. this Grammarly post. :)

    Best,
     
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