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  1. #1
    sky3120's Avatar
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    Default "It was not my fault, nor his"

    I found this sentence, "It was not my fault, nor his" but as far as I know, "nor" should be "or" if written with "not", not " neither". Then, if I rewrite it to "It was not my fault or his", "It was not my fault ,or his" or "It was not either my fault or his", the meaning of all is the same?

    Thanks all the time in advance.

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    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "It was not my fault, nor his"

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    I believe that your sentence is fine -- and elegant.

    "It was not my fault, nor [was it] his [fault]. ("Nor" requires the subject "it" and the verb "was" to exchange places.)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "It was not my fault, nor his"

    Thank you. Actually I found the sentence in Longman dictionary. Then, could I think that in "nor his", "was it" was omitted like "if possible",
    etc.? And can I think that the meaning of the two is the same?

    1. It was not my fault, nor his.

    2. It was not my fault or his.
    Last edited by sky3120; 27-Apr-2012 at 01:48.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "It was not my fault, nor his"

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    can I think that the meaning of the two is the same?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    I think (repeat: think) that the answer is YES.

    (1) I was reminded of Mr. Michael Swan's advice (Practical English Usage, 1995 edition, page 359, entry 364.3):

    She did not phone that day or the next day. / She did not phone that day, nor the next day.
    Our main need is not food or money. / Our main need is not food, nor money. It is education.

    Mr. Swan explains: "Nor can follow not, especially after a pause [comma]; it is more emphatic [my emphasis] than or."

    (2) I found this on dictionary.reference.com:

    "They will not wait for you, nor for me, nor for anybody."

    (a) That sentence seems to be a good example of Mr. Swan's contention that "nor" is "more emphatic." I think that it is certainly

    stronger than "They will not wait for you, or [for] me, or [for] anybody."

    *****

    Therefore (I think):

    It was not my fault or his.

    It was not my fault, nor was it his!

    *****

    P.S. I wish to credit a "Tanit" in a June 23, 2008, post at another leading grammar helpline for reminding me about Mr. Swan's advice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "It was not my fault, nor his"

    Sometimes I was wondering who you are, but absolutely, you must be great and helpful and I like the way you prove your explanations. Thank you.

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