Some conjunctions are used in pairs. They are called correlative conjunctions. Most of these are of the coordinating type.
Either … or
- You must either follow my instructions or resign.
- He is either a fool or a madman.
- Either you or he will have to go.
- Either you will leave this house or I will call the police.
- I donít speak either French or German.
We use either…. or to talk about a choice between two possibilities (and sometimes more than two).
- If you want ice-cream you can have either chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.
Neither … nor
- I will neither follow your instructions nor resign.
- He is neither a fool nor a madman.
- I neither smoke nor drink.
We use neither … nor to join two negative ideas. It is the opposite of both … and. Sometimes more than two ideas are connected by neither … nor.
- He neither smiled, spoke, nor looked at me.
Not only … but also
- They not only looted the shop, but also set fire to it.
- Not only John, but Peter also got a prize.
- He visited not only France but also Germany.
- She not only plays the piano, but also the violin.
Also is often omitted.
- He was not only brave but prudent.
Note that in informal English not onlyÖbut also is not very common; other structures are generally preferred.
- She doesnít only play the piano. She plays the violin too.
Not … but
- The culprit was not John but Peter.
- He did not stop the car but drove on.
- It is not the best but reasonably good.
Whether … or
- I donít know whether I should stay or leave.
- Whether he comes or not makes no difference.
Both … and
- She is both clever and pretty.
- He is both scholarly and cultured.
- Both John and Peter spoke at the meeting.
As/so … as
- He is not as/so bad as many think.
- She is not as/so successful as her sister.
- The situation is not as/so difficult as people make out.
So … that
- The task is so difficult that one man alone canít do it.
- The officer was so inefficient that he had to be sacked.
Such … that
- I have such regard for him that I will do anything to please him.
- Such was her beauty that princes from far and near came to woo her.
Such … as
- I gave him such help as I could.
- You must give such an assurance as will satisfy people.
- Such valuables as she left were sold at an auction.
Note that it is wrong to use that instead of as in these sentence