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    #1

    "Nor" usage and inversion

    I cannot give you my blessing, nor can I wish you good fortune.


    Question 1: "nor" is usually used with "neither", however in the sentence above, which is a grammatically correct sentence, "nor" is used without "neither". I understand what the sentence means, I have no problem with that, but up until today I hadn't known that "nor" could have been used this way. My question is, is it possible to use the sentence above with "neither" in it this time?

    Example: I can neither give you my blessing, nor can I wish you good fortune.

    Question 2: If it is possible, then why isn't there a "neither" in the first sentence? Why didn't the speaker use it? Are there some cases where "neither" can be omitted? What are those cases?

    Question 3: In the second part of the sentence, there is an inversion. Usually, the "neither ... nor" sentences I come across don't have inversions, sentences usually follow as: "Neither drinking nor smoking is good for your health." I would like to know when and how we use inversion with "nor" like the first example.

    Question 4: If we can use "nor" without "neither" and inverse the second part of the sentence, can we do the same thing with "or"?

    Example: I can drop you by the bus stop, or can I take you to your home.

    I am aware that this is a bit too long but this confusion has haunted me for a couple of days now. I would really appreciate it if you could help me.

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    #2

    Re: "Nor" usage and inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by kiezel52 View Post
    I cannot give you my blessing, nor can I wish you good fortune.


    Question 1: "nor" is usually used with "neither", however in the sentence above, which is a grammatically correct sentence, "nor" is used without "neither". I understand what the sentence means, I have no problem with that, but up until today I hadn't known that "nor" could have been used this way. My question is, is it possible to use the sentence above with "neither" in it this time?

    Example: I can neither give you my blessing, nor can I wish you good fortune. Yes — that's fine, too.

    Question 2: If it is possible, then why isn't there a "neither" in the first sentence? Why didn't the speaker use it? There was no good reason to. He could have used it if he'd felt like it. Are there some cases where "neither" can be omitted? Yes. What are those cases? This is one of them.

    Question 3: In the second part of the sentence, there is an inversion. Usually, the "neither ... nor" sentences I come across don't have inversions, sentences usually follow as: "Neither drinking nor smoking is good for your health." I would like to know when and how we use inversion with "nor" like the first example.

    Question 4: If we can use "nor" without "neither" and invert the second part of the sentence, can we do the same thing with "or"? No. We don't invert the second part.

    Example: I can drop you by the bus stop, or I can take you to your home.
    Rover

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    #3

    Re: "Nor" usage and inversion

    Thank you for your time and answer but I do still have some unclear points in my head.

    So we can use "nor" without "neither" if the first part of the sentence is negative, am I correct? Are these examples true?

    Example 1: She will not take the exam, nor will she drop out of school.
    Example 2: There has been no theft in this town, nor will there ever be.
    Example 3: Those cookies are not for you, nor for me.

    Another thing about Example 3, I came across a sentence in a movie which said: "That place is not for you, or for me."
    But in my example I've used "nor". Which is the correct usage? The example I've given, or the sentence from the movie?

    Thanks.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Nor" usage and inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by kiezel52 View Post
    Thank you for your time and answer but I do still have some unclear points in my head.

    So we can use "nor" without "neither" if the first part of the sentence is negative, am I correct? Are these examples true?

    Example 1: She will not take the exam, nor will she drop out of school.
    Example 2: There has been no theft in this town, nor will there ever be.
    Example 3: Those cookies are not for you, nor for me.

    Another thing about Example 3, I came across a sentence in a movie which said: "That place is not for you, or for me."
    But in my example I've used "nor". Which is the correct usage? The example I've given, or the sentence from the movie?

    Thanks.
    See the information here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/edu...r/when-use-nor

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Nor" usage and inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by kiezel52 View Post
    Example: I can neither give you my blessing, nor can I wish you good fortune.
    I'm really strict about what I call "correct" with the "not only/but also" and the "neither/nor" type of constructions where the two parts must be parallel. Note that in speech, this wouldn't even be noticed, but in careful writing, parallelism is important (at least, to me).

    You start off with "I can" and then you have the "neither + give you my blessing." What follows the "nor" must have the same grammatical elements as what followed "neither." In this case, something that can follow "I can..." You should drop the "can I" so you have only the "wish you good fortune."

    This is a pretty high-level style issue, but I thought I'd bring it up. I'd change it if I were your editor.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 12-Feb-2014 at 19:13.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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