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I found this in The Guardian

And assuming a 50:50 gender divide, polygamy not only means that women in polygamous relationships not only receive a small fraction of a man, but that some unfortunate men lower down the pecking order will get no woman at all.

I believe the above sentence has a grammatical mistake. There are two "not only" but has only one "but". If I make the sentence parallel, I have trouble in second not only, which is highlighted in bold. What should I do in this scenario?

How find some of the "not only" which does not follow with "but". In this condition how can I rephrase the sentence?

And assuming a 50:50 gender divide, polygamy means not only that women in polygamous relationships not only receive a small fraction of a man, but that some unfortunate men lower down the pecking order will get no woman at all.

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  • I didn't understand. Do you mean second sentence or second "not only"?
    – ARYF
    Jun 26 '16 at 10:41
  • Second only one.
    – user33000
    Jun 26 '16 at 10:50
  • fine! If a sentence has one "not only" and does not have "but also" or an option to insert "but also", is that sentence incorrect. Or should it be rephrased?
    – ARYF
    Jun 26 '16 at 10:58
  • 1
    By redundant I mean it's not necessary to have it. The sentence should be rephrased, in my idea. And I told you how we can change it.
    – user33000
    Jun 26 '16 at 16:19
  • @Sina -- Your comments would make a good answer.
    – Jasper
    Jul 2 '16 at 12:02
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The second (emphasized) "not only" should be "only" to make it a logical sentence. It appears to be an editorial mistake.

For completion of the sentence, I personally perfer "but also" over "but" (although "but" is allowed according to credible sources, for example Cambridge dictionary). With a long sentence like this one, the idiomatically "but also" could help the reader.

Edit: Also, the verb "means" applied to both parts of the sentence, so it should be placed before "not only".

The result would be

And assuming a 50:50 gender divide, polygamy means not only that women in polygamous relationships only receive a small fraction of a man, but also that some unfortunate men lower down the pecking order will get no woman at all.

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