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Correlative Connectors

Correlative Connectors
Activity SmartMemo
Activity SmartMemo
Learn the different correlative connectors and how to use them in a balanced construction.

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1- Look at the sentences and try to express that idea in English 2- Move your mouse over the black button to check your answer. 3- If you were right, click on the green button, if wrong, click on the red.

Correlative connectors consist of two coupled connectors, one in each sentence:
- BOTH . . . AND  (= and)    both are true  [ + + ]
      She both plays the piano and sings  
      she plays both the piano and the guitar 
- NEITHER . . . NOR    both are untrue  [ - - ]     /nðə ... nɔ:/ (American: /ni:ðər ,,, nɔ:r/)
      Neither James nor Virginia was at home  (also: were)
      I neither smoke nor drink
- EITHER . . . OR  (= or)    only one can be true  [ + - ] , [ - + ]     /ðə ... ɔ:/ (American: /i:ðər ,,, ɔ:r/
      You can either come with me or walk home
      either you leave this house or I'll call the police
- NOT ONLY . . . BUT ALSO   both are true  [  + +  ]  (formal)
      She not only sings like an angel, but also dances like a nymph


These correlative constructions must be "balanced", that is, the structure of each part of the sentence must be identical. Unbalanced constructions are not grammatically wrong, but they are considered to be very clumsy.
- She both plays the piano and the guitar

This sentence is unbalanced (and so, not appropriate for a composition) because the structure is: (both + verb)  (and + object)
So, to make it balanced we have two possibilities:
- She both plays the piano and plays the guitar  (both + verb / and + verb)
- She plays both the piano and the guitar  (both + noun / and + noun)
The second sentence is much better because repetitions (plays....plays) are very clumsy and not elegant.


For Spanish speakers

- BOTH . . . AND  (= tanto ... como / y además) 
- NEITHER . . . NOR  (= ni ... ni)
- EITHER . . . OR  (= o bien ... o bien)
- NOT ONLY . . . BUT ALSO  (= no sólo ... sino también/sino que además)


Item Match Comments
David no solo es guapo sino que además es inteligente David is not only handsome but also intelligent
Ella quiere vernos tanto a ti como a mí She wants to see us, both you and me
Ella sabe tocar tanto el piano como la guitarra She can play both the piano and the guitar
Ella toca el piano y además canta She both plays the piano and sings
Es barato y además bonito It's both cheap and beautiful
Eso no es ni para ti ni para mí That's neither for you nor for me
Hablo francés y además inglés I speak both French and English
ni azul ni rojo (isn't) It isn't either blue or red
Ni fumo ni bebo I neither smoke nor drink
No es ni azul ni rojo (is) It's neither blue nor red
No estaba en casa ni James ni Virginia Neither James nor Virginia was at home also: ...were at home
No solo en primavera, también en verano hay flores aquí Not only in spring, also in summer there are flowers here
O te vas de mi casa o llamo a la policía Either you leave this house or I will call the police
O te vienes conmigo o te vas en el coche de Kevin Either you come with me or you go in Kevin's car
Para mi película necesito tanto hombres como mujeres For my film I need both men and women
Puedes bien coger un taxi, bien irte a casa andando You can either take a taxi or walk home
Puedes venir o bien el lunes o bien el jueves You can come either on Monday or on Thursday
Tengo muchas rosas, tanto rojas como amarillas I've got many roses, both red and yellow
Tienes que elegir, es o esto o aquello You have to choose, it's either this or that
Trabajo no sólo los días de diario sino también los sábados I work not only on weekdays, but also on Saturdays
Total number of items: 20

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