In this post I provide a grammar lesson about “paired conjunctions” and I think it’s useful for your writing and also speaking as well.
At least it worked for me. Read it carefully and tell me your idea about it.
|PAIRED CONJUNCTIONS: BOTH . . . AND; NOT ONLY . . . BUT ALSO; EITHER . . . OR; NEITHER . . . NOR|
(a) Both my mother and my sister are here
(b) Not only my mother but also my sister is here
(c) Not only my sister but also my parents are here
(d) Neither my mother nor my sister is here
(e) Neither my sister nor my parents are here
Two subjects connected by both . . . and take a plural verb, as in (a).
When two subjects are connected by not only . . . but also, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor, the subject that is closer to the verb determines whether the verb is singular or plural.
(f) The research project will take both time and money
(g) Yesterday it not only rained but (also) snowed.
(h) I’ll take either chemistry or physics next quarter.
(i) That book is neither interesting nor accurate.
Notice the parallel structure in the examples. The same grammatical form should follow each part of the paired conjunctions.
In (f): both + noun + and + noun
In (g): not only + verb + but also + verb
In (h): either + noun + or + noun
In (i): neither + adjective + nor + adjective