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Is there any significant difference between these sentences? Which one is not grammatically correct?

  1. The liquid fertilizer application has been used not only in some other countries, but also in country A.

  2. The liquid fertilizer application has been used not only in country A, but also in some other countries.

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They are both grammatically correct, but they do not mean the exactly same thing.

It makes perfectly good sense to say:

The liquid fertilizer application has been used not only in country A, but also in some other countries.

This is akin to saying:

I have been talking about the use of this product in country A, but you should be aware that it is also used in some other countries as well.

It makes less sense to say:

The liquid fertilizer application has been used not only in some other countries, but also in country A

because on the face of it we have no reason for believing that country A is not already included in 'some other countries'. Unless there is a list of countries which make up 'some other countries', and that list does not include country A, then the first sentence does not really make sense. It would make more sense to say:

The liquid fertilizer application has been used in some other countries including country A.

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  1. is confusing because the meaning of "some other countries" is unclear until, later in the sentence, we read about country A. If you think of the 'not only... but also..' as a slightly more emphatic way of saying 'and' you should see that to say 'X has been used in some other countries and in country A' is a very odd way of putting it.

If you said "The liquid fertiliser application, which was invented in Country B, ..." then you could end with "...not only in some other countries but also in country A".

The point is that the reader needs the answer to "other than what?" before reading "some other".

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  • +1 I can see the difference now.
    – learning
    Jul 30 '18 at 23:05

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