By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) - Page 2
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# By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds

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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2012, 02:52
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I would have chosen "D" first, but i noticed that "creating" is not parallel to "transform", so that only "C" is correct. Even though it is "not only X" .. "but Y" without also. Thanks for the questions and explanation
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27 Jan 2012, 16:29
A good reminder on a fundamental grammar point. Thanks
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2013, 06:37
Got to say good question went for E but realized on close inspection C is right. This construction is something you don't see very often

Not only X but Y
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03 Aug 2013, 11:42
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fozzzy wrote:
Got to say good question went for E but realized on close inspection C is right. This construction is something you don't see very often

Not only X but Y

There is a way to check in not only X but also Y or not only X but Y construction whether selected choice is correct.

<Modifier>....., scientists not only were able to transform the gas into a solid, but they also created a semiconductor similar to
silicon.

So, scientists were able to do two things which should stand independently by themselves.

A. not only were able to transform the gas into a solid, but they also created
B. not only were able to transform the gas into a solid but also creating
C. were able not only to transform the gas into a solid but to create
D. were able not only to transform the gas into a solid but also creating
E. were not only able to transform the gas into a solid, but they were also able to create

Choice C:
Scientists were able not only to transform the gas into a solid.
Scientists were able but to create a semiconductor similar to silicon.

Both are independent sentences that can stand by their own.This method has helped me quickly eliminate choices in this type of construction.Like in this sentence, choices B & D can be eliminated easily. Hope it helps you too!
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29 Nov 2013, 20:12
an amazing question.... I chose E only to find out that it wasn't parallel.
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2014, 17:54
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2015, 09:40
Another Idiom added to the list
Not only X but Y
Cheers..!!
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2016, 18:09
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Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2016, 23:36
egmat wrote:
Hi,

It is true that we generally use “not only” pairing it with “but also” to denote two aspects of the same thing. However, the use of “not only… but…” is not incorrect (but that we encounter in rare occasions).

We use “not only A but also Y” or “not only X but Y”, what we must pay attention to is that the entities following both the markers (X and Y) must be logically as well as grammatically parallel.

In this sentence, only choice C adheres to this rule of parallelism: were able not only to transform the gas into a solid but to create. The entities that follow both the markers are grammatically (to verb-forms) as well as logically parallel. Hence choice C is correct.

Hope this helps.

Can you please explain why E is incorrect?
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By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2016, 07:03
In what way is parallelism missing in E?

The option says "the scientists were not only able to transform..., but also able to create..." which seems parallel to me (or am I missing something?)

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By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2016, 12:06
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MeghaP wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi,

It is true that we generally use “not only” pairing it with “but also” to denote two aspects of the same thing. However, the use of “not only… but…” is not incorrect (but that we encounter in rare occasions).

We use “not only A but also Y” or “not only X but Y”, what we must pay attention to is that the entities following both the markers (X and Y) must be logically as well as grammatically parallel.

In this sentence, only choice C adheres to this rule of parallelism: were able not only to transform the gas into a solid but to create. The entities that follow both the markers are grammatically (to verb-forms) as well as logically parallel. Hence choice C is correct.

Hope this helps.

Can you please explain why E is incorrect?

rs47 wrote:
In what way is parallelism missing in E?

The option says "the scientists were not only able to transform..., but also able to create..." which seems parallel to me (or am I missing something?)

"Scientists were" is OUTSIDE the parallelism structure and hence covers both NOT ONLY.... and BUT ALSO.....

Thus using "they were" within the second element (BUT ALSO) is wrong. If "they were" is to be used within the second element (BUT ALSO), then "scientists were" should also be brought WITHIN the first element (NOT ONLY). Then the sentence would be:

..not only scientists were able to transform the gas into a solid, but they were also able to
create....
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2016, 12:24
So, just because E has 'they' in between the not only... but also construction, it is incorrect? How should we look at it so we don't get confused ?? Thanks!!
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16 Jun 2016, 12:26
So, just because E has 'they' in between the not only... but also construction, it is incorrect? How should we look at it so we don't get confused ?? Thanks!!
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16 Jun 2016, 12:40
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Aarial wrote:
:roll: So, just because E has 'they' in between the not only... but also construction, it is incorrect? How should we look at it so we don't get confused ?? Thanks!!

OK, let me try to explain a bit more elaborately. Consider this way:

Parallelism marker: NOT ONLY (X), BUT ALSO (Y).
X and Y should be parrallel.

Correct: Scientists were NOT ONLY ( able to transform), BUT ALSO ( able to create).
able to transform and able to create are parallel.

Correct: NOT ONLY (Scientists were able to transform), BUT ALSO ( they were able to create).
Scientists were able to transform and they were able to create are parallel.

Wrong: Scientists were NOT ONLY ( able to transform), BUT ALSO ( they were able to create).
able to transform and they were able to create are NOT parallel.
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Re: By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2016, 13:11
sayantanc2k wrote:

"Scientists were" is OUTSIDE the parallelism structure and hence covers both NOT ONLY.... and BUT ALSO.....

Thus using "they were" within the second element (BUT ALSO) is wrong. If "they were" is to be used within the second element (BUT ALSO), then "scientists were" should also be brought WITHIN the first element (NOT ONLY). Then the sentence would be:

..not only scientists were able to transform the gas into a solid, but they were also able to
create....

Great explanation, thanks a lot
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By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2016, 08:43
I stumbled upon a great explanation by "Ron". Sharing it for benefit of others

-----------------
There is really only one base structure here, which is "not ... but ..."

that's actually the only TRUE set of parallel markers here. "only" and "also" are adverbs, and so ultimately function as modifiers -- i.e., they aren't necessary to the structure.
Still, since "not only ... but also ..." is so common, you may want to memorize it separately -- but be aware that this is NOT the only correct form of this idiom.

The MOST reliable way to deconstruct this idiom is just to memorize "not ... but ...", and then ignore the adjectives "only" and "also" in deciding whether structures are grammatically parallel.
In deciding the MEANING of the structure, you can't dismiss "only" and "also" ... but that's a separate issue.

EXAMPLES: BE SURE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY EACH OF THESE IS CORRECT OR INCORRECT

the writer was not only mortified by her mistake but determined to correct it in print.
--> CORRECT

the writer not only was mortified by her mistake but was determined to correct it in print.
--> CORRECT

the writer was not only mortified by her mistake but was determined to correct it in print.
--> INCORRECT

the small child was relieved to hear that the rustling under the bed was caused not by a ghost but by his pet cat.
--> CORRECT

the small child was relieved to hear that the rustling under the bed was caused not by a ghost but his pet cat.
--> INCORRECT

SO WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE, THEN, WITH
"not only ... but also ..."
"not only ... but ..."
"not ... but ..."
?

The difference here is strictly one of MEANING.

The first two are pretty similar; the last one is TOTALLY different.

(1) "not only ... but also ..." is used to refer to two descriptions that REINFORCE each other (i.e., both have the same connotation -- two good things, two bad things, two helpful things, etc.), but are fundamentally independent.
ex:
this drug is not only an alertness aid, but also an antidepressant.
--> "alertness aid" and "antidepressant" are TWO GOOD THINGS that have basically NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER.
Therefore, "not only ... but also".

Wrong: The drug not only kills the bacteria but also kills white cells. (Doesn’t make sense as explained, one good, one bad -- so the context here is inappropriate)
[Correct Version can be written with just “but”: The drug kills the bacteria but also kills white cells.]

Correct: The drugs not only kills the bacteria but also alleviates joint pain. (Both effects described are positive)

(2) "not only ... but ..." is also used to refer to two descriptions that REINFORCE each other, but it's generally used when the second description EXPANDS or GOES BEYOND the first.
ex:
ryan not only competed in all the events, but won first prize in three of them.
--> Note that "won first prize in three of [the events]" is an EXTENSION of "compete[ing] in all the events". These are not independent.

The above difference between (1) and (2) is subtle, and is therefore not terribly important. However, you MUST be able to tell those from the next one:

(3) "not ... but ..." is used when the FIRST thing is EXPECTED, ASSUMED, or PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT, but is REFUTED / CONTRADICTED / DISPROVED by the SECOND thing.
ex:
the snacks known as "French fries" were invented not in France, but in Belgium.
--> The initial assumption, which is refuted, is that French fries are from France.

--> I was surprised to learn that Ella was not Clint's biological daughter but in fact his adopted daughter, since her facial features so closely resemble his.
(Here, since the girl looks so much like her dad, we EXPECT to find out that she's his biological daughter.)

[Other scenarios:

"not only....also..."

 This could work, if there were some other transition signal (e.g. a semicolon) to replace the missing "but".
For instance:
The Acme Battery Corporation does not only make batteries; it also makes battery accessories, such as chargers.

In this case, the meaning is largely the same as that of "not only ... but also..."

"not only ... also" doesn't make grammatical sense; the inclusion of the conjunction "but" is of the utmost importance. If you don't have this conjunction, then the sentence thus created becomes a run-on

"not....but also..."
 Doesn't seem logical under any circumstances

"X but Y":
this just implies a contrast, but NOT any expectation.
e.g.,
I am not a mechanic, but can perform basic maintenance on non-hybrid cars.
]

--------------
Hope it can explain why C is correct
By pressing a tiny amount of nitrogen between two diamonds   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2016, 08:43

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