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Would anybody possibly tell me which one is correct, colloquial, or official?

Problem children not only interrupt their classes, but also prevent themselves and other from learning.

Problem children not only interrupt their classes, but also they prevent themselves and other from learning. ......

As I know the followings are used for more emphasise rather the esentences above, so would you tell me which one is colloquial, official or right?

Not only do Problem children interrupt their classes, but also they prevent themselves and other from learning.

Not only do Problem children interrupt their classes, but also prevent themselves and other from learning.

  • Thank you so much. I think the second one is more colloquial – nima Apr 11 '14 at 16:38
  • ?Am I right. Would you tell me/. – nima Apr 11 '14 at 18:33
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I want to address a few small errors in the sentences first, just because they're tiny things that could make a big difference.

The phrase 'problem children' isn't one I've heard before. I don't know what you mean here, but it might be better to say something like 'challenged children' or 'misbehaving children'.

When you talk about other students in the plural, say 'others' instead of 'other'.

Now, for the question:

Misbehaving children not only interrupt their classes, but also prevent themselves and others from learning.

The sentence above is correct, natural and formal.

Misbehaving children not only interrupt their classes, but also they prevent themselves and other from learning.

This sentence is more natural if you swap 'also' and 'they' around in the second clause. Adding in the 'they' is more informal, and would normally be omitted. I think this is what you're after when you look for which is 'official' and 'colloquial'. The first is more official and the second is more colloquial in this case.

When you add 'not only do' to the beginning, it becomes more natural to add in the 'they' in the second clause. This is because they haven't clearly been defined as the subject of the sentence due to the emphasis that they cause several problems. It is definitely better to say:

Not only do 'Problem' children interrupt their classes, but they also prevent themselves and other*s* from learning.

(Note the swap of 'they' and 'also' and the plural 'others'.)

  • 2
    'Problem child' is an actual idiomatic expression in English meaning 'a misbehaving child that is difficult to manage'. Indeed it was in the title of two movies en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_Child_(film). – Merk Apr 12 '14 at 3:39
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Problem children is a common idomatic phrase in American English, but is not a proper noun in your example. Therefore, you should lower-case "problem" in your two bottom example sentences.

Also, generally a class is more than 2 people, so instead of having "other" you should have "others" or "other children" but "other" by itself is incorrect paralellism. A parallel sentence uses plurals to reference other plural cases and singlars to reference other singular cases.

In American English, "don't only" is more colloquial in this case, along with a slight change of emphasis. I would say "Problem children don't only interrupt their own classes but also prevent others from learning."

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