Question: Skills and Values

Comment on Skills and Values

This is tested quite often on the test. Great problem!
gmat-admin's picture

Agreed - it's a concept that is often tested.

Can you please explain why "not only required to teach academic skills" is not parallel with "impart socially-accepted values"? Thank you.
gmat-admin's picture

The problem has to do with the placement of "required."

The teachers have two requirements. They are required to teach academic skills AND they are required to impart socially-accepted values.

To maintain parallelism we need to EITHER have the word "required" in both parts, OR place "required" outside the correlative.

If we want "required" in both parts, we can write: ...teachers are NOT ONLY required to teach academic skills BUT ALSO required to impart socially-accepted values.

If we want "required" outside the correlative, we can write: ...teachers are required to NOT ONLY teach academic skills BUT also impart socially-accepted values.

Dear Brent, just want to comment about your last section of previous explanation. You said that "Teachers are required to NOT ONLY teach....". Was it categorize as split infinitive? In your previous lesson you said that GMAT dislike split infinitive. Please correct me.

gmat-admin's picture

Good catch! I should have written "...teachers are required NOT ONLY to teach academic skills BUT ALSO to impart socially-accepted values"

Hi Brent,

What about:
"Teachers are not only required to teach academic skills, but also TO impact socially-accepted values"?

In other words: what if we don't repeat the word REQUIRED, but maintain the infinitive form of the verb (to teach vs. to impact), is that OK?
gmat-admin's picture

That construction is fine WITHOUT the "not only X but also Y" correlative. For example, the GMAT considers the following totally acceptable:

"Teachers are required to teach academic skills and impact socially-accepted values?"

However, if we want to use the "not only X but also Y" correlative, then we need 100% parallelism.

You have a few options:

"Teachers are required not only TO TEACH academic skills, but also TO IMPACT socially-accepted values"

"Teachers are not only REQUIRED TO TEACH academic skills, but also REQUIRED TO IMPACT socially-accepted values"

"Teachers are required to not only TEACH academic skills, but also IMPACT socially-accepted values"

NOTE: The last option splits the infinitive ("to teach" and "to impact"). This was once a big no-no for grammarians, but it seems more acceptable nowadays. HOWEVER, the GMAT test-makers do NOT split infinitives. So, while the 3rd sentence might be fine in everyday use, the GMAT will consider it incorrect.

More here (starting at 2:05):


Good job Brent,

Very good explanation,

hi brent, not only teach academic skills but also impart socially - accepted values. In the same line of thought the word teach is missing here as well right? Not only teach skills (X) but also teach values (Y)? Could you explain this for me? Best, Niek
gmat-admin's picture

To maintain parallelism here, we just need a second word that in the same form as the first word.
That is, we just need a word that is parallel with the verb TEACH.

We have the basic sentence: not only TEACH SKILLS but also IMPART VALUES
The structure here is: not only VERB NOUN but also VERB NOUN

So, as long as we have a VERB and a NOUN (so that the verb tenses are the same), then the sentence is parallel.

Some more examples:

Does that help?


Hi Brent, This helps alot, thank you so much. I did not knew that impart was a verb. Cheers, Niek

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