Adib
A question about "not only X but also Y" construction. My question is when do we have to use inversion in the "not only X but also Y" construction. I know that when a sentence starts with "Not only..." we must use inversion. However, I have seen that sometimes inversion is used even when this construction is not used at the beginning of the sentence. Is there a rule for when to invert and when not to invert? I'd appreciate it if you as a native speaker of English could tell me which of the following sentences is correct? And why? 1. Having lived in a country where tens of criminals are executed annually, I believe that not only would the use of the death sentence not reduce crime, but unfortunately, it could also promote a culture of revenge and violence in society. 2. Having lived in a country where tens of criminals are executed annually, I believe that not only the use of the death sentence would not reduce crime, but unfortunately, it could also promote a culture of revenge and violence in society. Thank you.
Nov 13, 2017 5:30 AM
Answers · 3
This type of inversion occurs when using a negative adverbial. https://www.test-english.com/explanation/b2/inversion-negative-adverbials/ In your example above, (1) is correct. The inversion was triggered by the use of "not only". I would rather rewrite the sentence, however, as the following : "Having lived in a country where dozens of criminals are executed annually, I believe that not only would the use of the death penalty fail to reduce crime, but unfortunately, it could also promote a culture of revenge and violence in society." Ultimately, there is not a good explanation why inversion must be used, but it seems I use it without thinking much about it.
November 13, 2017
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Adib
Language Skills
English, Persian (Farsi)
Learning Language
English