不但……而且 vs 不但……反而

These 2 sentence structures appear in our primary school Chinese textbooks for many years and they never fail to confuse my pupils.

What is the difference between them and how to use them correctly?

不但……而且

Meaning: Not only…… but also……

When to use: To elaborate or add on to the point mentioned in the first half of the sentence.

Sentence structure:

(Noun) 不但 (point 1), 而且 (point 2)。

Example 1: When you want to tell people 2 advantages of the food in a hawker centre, you can say:

小贩中心的食物不但美味可口,而且价格合理。

Example 2: When you want to tell people how good the bag is, you can say:

这个书包不但精美,而且十分耐用。

不但……反而

Meaning: Not only…… but on the contrary……

When to use: To mention both what should happen and what happened instead.

(Noun) 不但没有/ 不但不 (what is expected), 反而 (opposite of what is expected)。

Example 1:

Exams are around the corner, the person should revise. However, instead of revising, he goes out to play. You can say:

考试快到了,弟弟不但不温习功课,反而跑出去玩耍。

Example 2:

In a library, we are expected to read in silence. Instead, this group of children were running around. You can say:

在图书馆里,他们不但不安静看书,反而到处乱跑。

To recap…

When you want to point out something and add on to it, use 不但……而且.

When you want to point out what is expected but something else happens instead, use 不但……反而.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Leave a Reply