I have a question regarding a sentence structure. I am reading an essay about IELTS test (english proficiency) and assume it is a good example. The essay mainly talks about the advantage of the news media websites and mobile apps are better than printed newspaper.

Nowadays, news media websites and mobile applications can not only inform us of the latest affairs around the world but the information is presented in multimodal ways such as video and audio, providing audience a more engaging reading experience than printed media.

In this sentence, the second part after "but" changes subject from "new media websites and mobile applications" to "the information", is that correct in regards to grammar? Does "not only, but also" have to be the same/parallel subject?

So how can I improve this sentence?

If I still want to say media websites and mobile have two advantages (informing us of the latest affairs and there are many ways to present the information)

  • The sentence looks wrong to me, as if the author got confused about what they were writing about, and lost the point. So please can you tell us exactly where you read this sentence?
    – James K
    Apr 20, 2022 at 21:49
  • That sentence isn't grammatical. It sounds as if "the information" is a new noun starting a new thought that deserves its own verb. Apr 20, 2022 at 21:49
  • I found studocu.com/en-ca/document/langara-college/… It looks like a reasonable student essay, but there are lots of mistakes and non-idiomatic English. It isn't an example of English from a native speaker but an example of what a good high school student from China might produce.
    – James K
    Apr 20, 2022 at 21:54
  • However your quote is different from the essay I linked to in a number of small but important ways. I changed the quote, please check it.
    – James K
    Apr 20, 2022 at 22:00
  • "Media website" what a strange compound?!
    – user141755
    Apr 20, 2022 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


There are a number of problems with this extract. It is okay for a high school student, but it is clearly not written by a native speaker.

The simplest and least confusing way to present two facts is to use two sentences. Since the facts are linked, a linking word (like "moreover") can help the flow of the paragraph.

News media websites and mobile applications can inform us of the latest affairs from around the world. Moreover, the information can be presented in multimodal ways such as video and audio, providing the audience with a more engaging reading experience.

I've fixed several other errors and minor problems.

The not only ... but also ... normally has noun phrases with no subject

Not only Dudley, but also his friend Peter, were performing that night.

I suppose more complex structures are also possible

Not only did I get a promotion, but also my wife was hired as an accountant.

In that example the subject changes. That is allowed.

  • +1 for several things, particularly for "use two sentences". Apr 20, 2022 at 22:21

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