it is never called for

jinmin1988

Senior Member
Chinese
Hurting people not only does not change them, it is never called for.
Does "but (also)" leave out after comma, so conjunction is unnecessary here?

What about "Hurting people not only does not change them; it is never called for." Is this OK?

Thank you.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A comma is better than a semicolon, because the two clauses depend on each other. 'Not only ...' requires some sort of contrast to follow. It doesn't have to begin with 'but', but there must be a second clause.

    The difference is related to a difference in intonation. The tone on the first clause is a fall-rise, meaning there's more to follow:

    Hurting people not only does not \/change them, it is never \called for.

    If the first clause was independent, it would have a final falling tone like the second one:

    Hurting people does not \change them; it is never \called for.
     
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