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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #1

    Neither in "Inverted sentences"

    Hello,

    It's my honour to be associated with professional native English teachers. I am an English teacher from Iran.
    Well, my first thread (question) is about the correct usage of "neither" in the sentences below. Actually, there is a disagreement between one of my colleagues and myself. I would be obliged if you would help us with this quandary.

    Which of the following would be correct?

    1. Neither is there a plate nor pizza here. (My colleague's choice)
    2. Neither a plate nor pizza is here. (My choice)

    To me, the problem in No.1 is splitting "neither" away from its noun. In No.2, the writer's splitting it by putting a verb between "neither" and the noun it is modifying. I believe that the "neither/nor" construction is generally not separated by a verb, since "neither/nor" acts as a "dual conjunction". However, my colleague thinks otherwise. He claims that No.1 is the correct form of "inversion".

    Best,
    Roozbeh

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #2

    Re: Neither in "Inverted sentences"

    Welcome to the forum.

    Neither version is very natural. But #2 is better.

    #1 introduces "is there ... here" for no apparent reason.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #3

    Re: Neither in "Inverted sentences"

    I don't find either of them natural although, of the two, I prefer yours. I understand that your title mentions "inverted sentences" but I don't know why you're trying to use it when it's not necessary. I (and the majority of native speakers) would use "There is neither a plate nor [a] pizza here".

    It might work in a different context - "Neither Susan nor John is here". That matches the construction of your version but uses a much more likely context.

    [Cross-posted with SoothingDave.]
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 07-Apr-2015 at 17:22.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2015
    • Posts: 26
    #4

    Re: Neither in "Inverted sentences"

    No. I am not intending to use the inverted one necessarily. That difference, however, has become the subject of heated debate within the realm of Advanced points in English as a second language. Fluency takes precedence. No doubt.

    So, as I previously implied, the first sentence is unnatural. We cannot consider that as ungrammatical. Correct me if I am wrong.

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