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Not only did I not get tired, I rather cheered up/perked up/bucked up.

Not only did I not tire, rather I was/felt invigorated.

Do any of these seem natural to you?

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    The "cheer" version doesn't really make sense ("to cheer up" means to stop being sad, which is nothing to do with being tired). Personally, I think that after a construction of the general form Not only NOT(X), it's stylistically "clumsy" to explicitly include the word rather before the following "contrastive" assertion (which is invariably something that's the complete opposite of X, or otherwise clearly incompatible with X). Consider Not only did did he not help, he [actually] made things worse (intensifier actually is good there, but rather isn't really good). Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:08
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    Yes, either of those are syntactically fine. Stylistically, it's better if the negated / denied action (tiring, becoming tired) and the actual action (perking up, becoming refreshed) are expressed using "compatible" verb forms. As in Not only did I not tire, I actually strengthened. But those single-word verbs are both a bit "formal, starchy" for the context, so multi-word "transitional" verb forms might be preferred: Not only did I not get tired, I actually got stronger (where the "parallelism" of get X constructions is particularly natural and idiomatic). Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:34
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    As previously implied, but (same as rather) is at the very least "redundant" in such contexts. But personally I'd would advise you to forget about starting your sentence with not only in the first place. It's more trouble than it's worth to figure out which alternative (to the common-as-muck construction not only ... but also) will work. Just I didn't get tired - I [actually] got stronger will always sound good, and that's just one thing to learn. You could learn a dozen alternatives that are also okay, but it would be hard to learn all those that don't work. Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:56
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    You normally cheer up, perk up or buck up after feeling glum or tired, not instead of. Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 21:34
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    @KateBunting - they all imply an 'uplift' but from different prior states. Going from sad to perky doesn't really work, but going from 'thinking you might get tired' to 'feeling remarkably energetic' feels right to me. Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 12:46

2 Answers 2

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I felt invigorated might fit, or, less formally, I felt refreshed.
Those seem like good antonyms to tired.

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  • "Not only did I tire/get tired, I rather felt invigorated/refreshed" Does any of these combinations look good?
    – Let
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:07
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    @Rusletov: You're confusing the issue by randomly switching between following not only with a "positive" clause (did I tire) and the "negated" version in the question (did I not tire). Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:11
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    @Rusletov You've left out the negation. Not only did I not get tired, I felt refreshed. As FumbleFingers's comment above says, the word rather isn't needed. Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:11
  • Sorry, just didn't notice while typing. Of course I meant "Not only did I NOT tire/get tired, I rather felt invigorated/refreshed"
    – Let
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 16:16
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If you were forced to choose from the first three alternatives, here's perhaps how you'd make your decision…

Not only did I not get tired, I rather cheered up/perked up/bucked up.

  1. Cheered up -
    you were sad, but are now becoming happier.

  2. Perked up -
    'perky' is lively, invigorated, at full attention, 'bright-eyed and bushy-tailed'. It may include cheerfulness, but that's not necessary to the meaning.

  3. Bucked up - This one I find the hardest to explain concisely and clearly.
    If you are performing poorly, or even showing extreme anxiety or sadness, someone may [rather unkindly, no matter how well-meant] tell you to 'buck up your ideas' or 'pull yourself together'. In that way, it's rather an admonishment of your current performance or mind-set. You can do this to yourself without external advice or compulsion, but it would still imply that your previous mental or physical state was lower & in need of an attitude change to compensate.

This would leave 'perked up' as possibly the most appropriate in this situation.

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