...but also less developed ...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by LQZ, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    It bought ultrasound machines that make lifelike three-dimensional images early in pregnancy, when the fetus is still low in the uterus and less obscured by fat, but also less developed and thus harder to diagnose clearly.---taken from the NYT

    Dear all,

    May I put a "not only" before "still low" ? May I have your opinions? Thanks.


    LQZ
     
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    What is your opinion, LQZ?
     
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I don't think so. But I'll have to think about why not.
     
  4. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Since I always associate "but also" with "not only", I am trying to understand whether "but also" can be put in place. Can you help me?
     
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    An example of like things being compared:
    He was not only ugly, but also stupid. (Both negative.)
    She was not only pretty, but also kind. (Both positive.)

    Another example of like things being compared:
    … when the fetus is not only still low in the uterus and less obscured by fat, but also larger and easier to see. (Both phrases -- all four attributes -- are positive things).

    But in the sentence you're asking about, the things are not alike, so I wouldn’t use the “not only/but also”:
    … when the fetus is still low in the uterus and less obscured by fat (positive), but also less developed and thus harder to diagnose clearly (negative).
     
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Ah, yes, that's it! Great analysis, Copyright.

    Just to throw in a couple examples of simple sentences with unlikes:

    He was ugly (negative), but also kind (positive).
    She was pretty
    (positive), but also stupid (negative).

    In this examples, you cannot add not only.
     
  7. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Thank you, Mr. Copyright. Your reply makes it clearer to me.

    But I have one more question: Can I replace but also with but without changing meaning? :)
     
  8. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Thank you, brain. Your example make sense to me as well. :)
     
  9. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Yes, you can... in many cases it's preferable for its brevity.
     
  10. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Thank you, Mr. Copyright. I was muddled. :(
     

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