Spanish conjunctions: No solo… sino también

no solo si no tambien spanish conjunctions

In Spanish, natives use no solo… sino también to connect and emphasize two words or phrases in the same position. In this case, the person who expresses it presents both phrases, no solo, and sino también, as surprising or unexpected. Spanish speakers often use the second phrase sino también to add more information to the sentence.


You can use No solo… sino también to explain, show, ask, and argue qualities, actions, and events, among many more. Then, adding this phrase to your vocabulary is quite useful and can help you save the day in many situations. If you want to know more about no solo… sino tambien, you’re in the right place.


How to use no solo… sino también


You can use the phrase no solo… sino también to connect a couple of ideas, events, or circumstances to each other, fluidly. No solo… sino también is a phrase that you can use in any type of conversation, whether formal or informal. But, natives usually use it in formal terms.


No solo… sino también comes from the English phrase “not only… but also”. This is the reason why many natives confuse its structure by comparing it with the phrase no solo… pero también. However, that sentence, in Spanish, is grammatically incorrect.


On the other side, both, the phrase no solo… sino también and “not only… but also” are correlative conjunctions that connect phrases or words that have the same importance, or meaning within a sentence. Let’s have a look at the following examples.


No solo fue a buscarte, sino también mandó a los demás a hacerlo, estaba muy preocupado por ti.

He not only went looking for you, but also sent the others to do it, he was very worried about you.


No solo tenía hambre, sino también tenía sed, fue la peor travesía de mi vida, no la volvería a repetir.

I was not only hungry, but also thirsty, it was the worst journey of my life, I would not repeat it again.


No solo estudia en la universidad, sino también trabaja en la empresa de sus padres. Está hecho un hombre hecho y derecho.

He not only studies at the university but also works in his parents’ company. He is a full-fledged man.


As you can see, for the correct use of the phrase no solo… sino también, you must place a comma after the no solo, and before the sino también.


No solo and sino también are phrases that you must use together. It is due to the correlation between one and the other. So, you cannot use only one without the other, you have to use them both.


When to use no solo… sino también


You can use the phrase no solo… sino también on different occasions. Let’s see some of them below.


  • When we want to claim or accuse a person for something terrible they did or will do. For example,


No solo te fuiste sin avisarnos, sino también no llegaste a la hora pautada, por eso estás castigada.

Not only did you leave without telling us, but you also didn’t arrive at the scheduled time. That’s why you’re grounded.


¡No solo lo golpeaste en frente de todos, sino también te suspendieron!

You not only beat him up in front of everyone, but also got suspended!


  • When someone hurt us or did us some kind of harm. For example,


No solo me estafó, sino también me usó y abusó de mi inocencia.

He not only scammed me, but also used me and abused my innocence.


¡Es que Juan es de lo peor! No solo le bastó con engañarme con Sofía, sino también terminó conmigo para estar con ella.

Juan is the worst! Not only was it enough for him to cheat on me with Sofia, but also he broke up with me to be with her.


  • When we want to add another point to a conversation or explanation. For example,


La esencia que tengas en el teatro es lo más importante, no solo debes saberte el guión, sino también saber encantar al público.

The essence that you have in the theater is the most important thing, you must not only know the script but also know how to charm the public.


  • When you want to ask questions or have any doubts. For example,


Me gustaría saber no solo la causa, sino también el tratamiento que se le pondrá.

I would like to know not only the cause but also the treatment that will be given.


Me puede explicar no solo los logros de este presidente, sino también sus fracasos, por favor? Can you explain to me not only the achievements of this president but also his failures, please?


Common phrases with no solo… sino también


In Spanish, there are many phrases or sentences that we use with no solo… sino también. Especially, in Latin American countries where most of the time people use it in colloquial terms. Below, you can find some of them.


¡No solo te comes mi almuerzo, sino también el pedazo de pastel que dejé en el refrigerador!

You not only eat my lunch, but also the piece of cake I left in the fridge!


No solo lo hizo contigo, sino también con las demás.

He not only did it with you but also with others.


No solo es arrogante, sino también egoísta.

She is not only arrogant but also selfish.


No solo es bella, sino también elegante.

She is not only beautiful but also elegant.


¡No solo te metiste conmigo, sino también con mi familia!

You not only messed with me but also with my family!


In summary, no solo… sino también is an expression that you can use in formal conversations. Nevertheless, you can also use it as informal or even vulgar expressions. Everything will depend on the meaning you want to give it.


Also, No solo… sino tambien is an expression you can use at the beginning of the sentence and in the middle of it. It does not have a particular order of use. Therefore, it is easier to understand.





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