reported speech with a correlative conjunction [not only, but also?]

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HifaMo

Senior Member
Moroccan Arabic
Hi,

My textbook asks for a combination of the following sentences, using a noun clause and a correlative conjunction.

My teacher told me this: "you can use my library as long as you want; you won't have to buy any books."

The sentence confuses me; I don't know what correlative conjunction should be used.

The following sentences are my attempts, but I'm not convinced of them.

1. My teacher told me that I not only could use his library as long as I want, but I also won't buy any books.
(I don't think 'not only...but also' works here.)
2.My teacher told me that I could rather use his library than buy books.
(I think the meaning has changed.)

Could you please give your views?

Thanks.
 
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  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It seems to me that the expression expected by the textbook is probably 'not only ... but (also) ...', though I agree that it is not very well suited here.
    However, it cannot be disputed, if we count the expressions used by the teacher in the given sentence, that two statements were made. Logically, it is always possible to use 'not only ... but (also) ...' in that case.

    'My teacher told me not only that I could use his library as long as I wanted, but that I would not have to buy any books.'

    The sense of inappropriateness here is due to the fact that the second statement appears to be implied by the first.
    However, again we cannot dispute that there could be cases where the second statement does convey a real additional point.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1. My teacher told me that I not only could use his library as long as I want, but I also won't buy any books.
    (I don't think 'not only...but also' works here.)
    2.My teacher told me that I could rather use his library than buy books.
    (I think the meaning has changed.)
    Certainly the meaning has changed, HifaMo. I wasn't clear that you expected it to be the same.

    I'm not very happy with 1. I'm not clear what you are trying to say. Maybe: My teacher told me to use his library as much as I wish, so I won't be buying any books.

    That would make 2. My teacher told me to use his library rather than buy books.

    These two sentences are compatible - the truth of one doesn't make the other untrue - but they don't 'mean' quite the same thing.

    I find the original 'use my library as long as you want' just a little strange. Long has temporal force there and I'm not sure that's appropriate.
     

    HifaMo

    Senior Member
    Moroccan Arabic
    The sense of inappropriateness here is due to the fact that the second statement appears to be implied by the first.
    Exactly, this is what confuses me.
    The second sentence 'you won't have to buy any books' sounds to me as a result of the first, not an additional favor from the teacher.

    For example, 'not only...but also' may work in the following case:
    The teacher told me that I could not only use his library as long as I wanted, but I could also make copies of books.

    Thanks, wandle. I appreciate your help.


    I'm not very happy with 1. I'm not clear what you are trying to say. Maybe: My teacher told me to use his library as much as I wish, so I won't be buying any books.

    That would make 2. My teacher told me to use his library rather than buy books.
    Thanks a lot, Thomas Tompion.
    Your sentences are good, but I have to follow the textbook's instructions.

     
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    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I think the sentences would most naturally be linked by "so": "You can use my library as long as you want, so you don't have to buy books."

    But that's not a correlative conjunction. (Unfortunately, "rather than" is not a correlative conjunction either, although "You can use my library as long as you want, rather than have to buy books" would work well too.)

    The only thing I can think of is "both... and...": "You can both use my library as long as you want and not have to buy books."
     

    HifaMo

    Senior Member
    Moroccan Arabic
    The only thing I can think of is "both... and...": "You can both use my library as long as you want and not have to buy books."
    Thanks, lucas-sp. I appreciate your help.

    To be honest, the sentence with 'both... and...' sounds odd to me.

    Should I conclude that the textbook's sentence, abiding by the instruction, cannot be combined?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    "You can both use my library as long as you want and not have to buy books."
    By which I meant... "You can both use my library as long as you want and avoid having to buy books."

    Sure, the sentence can be combined: he said, "Not only can you use my library as long as you want, but you also don't have to buy any books."

    It's an artificial exercise, so these sentences are not really that natural-sounding, but they are possible​. Both of these use correlative conjunctions and pass my inspection.
     
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