Take another look at the sentence:

Not only did Malinda squeal at the sight of the beautiful bouquet, but she also was tearing open the box and eating chocolates all the way to the restaurant.

When you use not only ... but also, you must maintain parallel structure. Malinda did squeal ..., a main clause, follows not only. She was tearing ..., another main clause, comes after but also.

Notice, however, that the second main clause has was tearing and [was] eating as its verbs. This past progressive tense does not match the tense of the first main clause, thus wrecking the parallelism.

To fix the sentence, change was tearing and eating to tore and ate.

Go to the next sentence.

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