Correlative Conjunctions. - AMA Manual of Style

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Correlative Conjunctions. 

Correlative Conjunctions.

Chapter:
Grammar
Author(s):

Stacy Christiansen

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Correlative Conjunctions.

Parallelism may rely on accepted cues (either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also, both/and). All elements of the parallelism that appear on one side of the coordinating conjunction should match corresponding elements on the other side.

Avoid:

The compleat physician has not only mastered the science of medicine but also its art.

Correct:

The compleat physician has mastered not only the science of medicine but also its art.

Better:

The compleat physician has mastered both the science and the art of medicine.

Avoid:

Poor drug efficacy may be caused by either lack of absorption or by increased clearance.

Correct:

Poor drug efficacy may be caused either by lack of absorption or by increased clearance.

Also correct:

Poor drug efficacy may be caused by either lack of absorption or increased clearance.

Avoid:

Three patients either took their medication incorrectly or not at all.

Correct:

Three patients took their medication either incorrectly or not at all.

Note: Either/or is used with only 2 comparators (use with more than 2 items is considered nonstandard).

Incorrect:

This medication can be taken with either water, milk, or juice.

Correct:

This medication can be taken with water, milk, or juice.

Note: Avoid the use of nor when the first negative is expressed by not or no.

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