Is the following usage of "not only but also" wrong?

Not only is playing video games exciting but also it is a great way to improve our creativity.

What about this one?

Not only is playing video games exciting but it also is a great way to improve our creativity.

In the second one I moved also after it. Is it correct? Someone said it is not correct because of not being parallel. But I think it is correct as after both conjunctions we have complete sentences:

  • Part one: is playing video games exciting
  • Part two: it is a great way to improve our creativity

As you can see both are sentence and therefore parallel. Am I right?

  • 1
    The most usual version would be 'but it is also a great way...'. Oct 1, 2021 at 8:56
  • @KateBunting Thank you for your comment. Could you please say if what I wrote is wrong or not in terms of grammar? I mean, yes, what you mentioned is much better than what I wrote. Absolutely, there are many other alternatives that could be better than what I wrote, but I am curious to know whether my awkward version is correct or not.
    – a.toraby
    Oct 1, 2021 at 10:07
  • 1
    They are both understandable, and I wouldn't call them incorrect, just not the idiomatic way to say it. Oct 1, 2021 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


Neither option is truly unparallel, but there are several better options.

The great thing about constructions like this one is they let you save words. The concern about parallel construction is to make sure that the "saved" words are the same. In the two parts of your sentence, the subject and verb are both the same: "[Playing video games] [is]...". So the most efficient form would be: "Playing video games is not only exciting but also a great way to improve our creativity."

(The real concern about parallel constructions with the "not only ... but also" structure is when we use the material that comes after "but also" in a way that doesn't fit with material that came before "not only": "Playing video games is not only exciting but also it's a great way to..." I should be able to delete everything from "not only" to "but also" and still have a valid sentence, but this example would have two verbs: "Playing video games is ... it's a great way to...")

  • Thank you for your reply. I didn't understand the last part of your answer. Could you please explain more?
    – a.toraby
    Oct 1, 2021 at 7:40
  • Andy means that, because his sentence uses the verb is before 'not only', it would be wrong to use it's (it is) again after 'also'. "Playing video games is (a) exciting and (b) a great way to..." Oct 2, 2021 at 8:06

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