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Thread: neither...nor

  1. #1
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    Default neither...nor

    I found a sentence in my dictionary that goes this way,

    A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is neither a Christian, a Jew nor a Moslem.
    The structure of "neither...nor" is often times used to join two negative ideas. I think it can connect more than two ideas, right? Can I apply this to the structure of 'either...or'?

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    Default Re: neither...nor

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    I found a sentence in my dictionary that goes this way,

    A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is neither a Christian, a Jew nor a Moslem.
    The structure of "neither...nor" is often times used to join two negative ideas. I think it can connect more than two ideas, right? Can I apply this to the structure of 'either...or'?
    According to the American Heritage Book of English Usage, the traditional rule holds that neither...nor means “not one or the other of two.”

    If there are three or more, use none instead of neither..nor and any instead of either...or.

    All the best, :D

  3. #3
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    Default

    Or, in this case, it should strictly read 'A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is not a Christian, a Jew, or a Moslem.'

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    Default Re: neither...nor

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    According to the American Heritage Book of English Usage, the traditional rule holds that neither...nor means “not one or the other of two.”

    If there are three or more, use none instead of neither..nor and any instead of either...or.

    Cas,
    That's exactly what I think. If I want to negate 3 or more things, I will use none.

    What about?
    1.A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is not a Christian, a Jew or a Moslem.
    2. Pagan are those who are not believers in any of the world's chief religions, esp none of them is a Christian, a Jew or a Moslem.


    This is what Michael Swan said in his grammar book.
    Sometimes more than two ideas are connected by neither...nor.

    Example,
    He neither smiles, spoke, nor looked at me.
    Does this occur often? :?
    I would simply say he didn't smile, speak and even didn't look at me AT ALL. (Am I that ugly?) :D

    What do you think?



    Blacknomi

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    Default Re: neither...nor

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    What about?
    1. A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is not a Christian, a Jew or a Moslem.

    2. Pagan are those who are not believers in any of the world's chief religions, esp none of them is a Christian, a Jew or a Moslem.
    As MM as noted, 'one who is not....'. (OK) one who is none is odd. The adverb not negates 'is'. :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    This is what Michael Swan said in his grammar book.
    Sometimes more than two ideas are connected by neither...nor.

    Example
    He neither smiled, spoke, nor looked at me.
    Does this occur often? :?
    I would simply say he didn't smile, speak and even didn't look at me AT ALL. (Am I that ugly?) :D[/quote]

    Swan cites a rare usage, but a 'usage' nonetheless (i.e., He did neither of these things, wherein 'things' can refer to more than one idea. :wink:

    Linguists today, of which Michael Swan is one, look at the function and distribution of language. The forms they cite need not be "grammatical" in the traditional sense. If a given majority of speakers use the form, then the form is listed, as acceptable.

    All the best, :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    Or, in this case, it should strictly read 'A pagan is a person who is not a believer in any of the world's chief religions, esp one who is not a Christian, a Jew, or a Moslem.'
    Mr. M,
    Welcome to this forum. And thanks, I understand now. :wink:


    Pastel from there. What a small world we have. 8)

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    Default Re: neither...nor

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Linguists today, of which Michael Swan is one, look at the function and distribution of language. The forms they cite need not be "grammatical" in the traditional sense. If a given majority of speakers use the form, then the form is listed, as acceptable.
    :D
    Cas, I understand what you mean. Thank you. :D

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    Default Re: neither...nor

    You're welcome. :D

    We've a typhoon tonight!

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    I'm sorry to hear that. THAT was supposed to hit us. But somehow he changed his mind?! Is THAT a he or she this time?


    Take care, Cas. < A bIG BIG hug>

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    Hope nobody gets hurt

    FRC

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