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    #1

    Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    hi-
    I think it's about my reading comprehension. Could anyone help me to understand what the bold sentence means in the following paragrah?

    It's a short article to discuss about the 19 centry politics in US. It breifly compares Democrats and Whigs during Jackson's presidency.

    Whigs, on the other hand, were more comfortable with the market. For them, commerce and economic development were agents of civilization. Nor did the Whigs envision any conflict in society between farmers and workers on the one hand and businesspeople and bankers on the other. Economic growth would benefit everyone by raising national income and expanding opportunity. The government's responsibility was to provide a well-regulated economy that guaranteed opportunity for citizens of ability.

    It's my guessing. Does the bold sentence mean, Whigs did not imagine any conflict in society between farmers and workers on the one side and businessmen and bankers on the other side?

    By the way, I also need a tip to help me understand "Nor did..." such a sentence structure. What is it? and, how to use it well?

    Please advice or clarify. Thanks!

  1. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    Hi mehong19,

    To me, it means that they did not imagine, or see, a problem with economic differences between different groups in society, rather than actual conflict between those groups. Their reasoning for this is then given in the sentence which follows: "Economic growth would benefit everyone.......".

    Use of the word "nor" with "did" makes it into the equivalent of the negative "did not" or "didn't". It is similar to the word "neither". It follows as an addition to a previous sentence or sentences.

    "They couldn't drive through the flooded valley. Nor could they walk through the driving rain". (They couldn't walk through the driving rain. for which you could substitute "Neither could they walk through the driving rain").

    "They weren't interested in singing. Nor did they want to play the piano".

    Hopefully that will help.

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    #3

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    hi Eckaslike - very nice insight and explanation! A following question, would you happen to know how we address such sentence structure or grammar part you put in you reply? I have my own grammar book. Knowing it helps me find out the topics I need to focus and study. Many thanks!
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 08-Jul-2015 at 09:01. Reason: Changing 'grammer' to 'grammar'.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    Are you looking for a grammatical classification of "nor"? If so, I believe it is both a "conjunction" and an "adverb".

    While looking at the definition I found another example where "nor" is used in a single sentence: "they were neither cheap nor convenient"

    The dictionary definition of this second form of use is, "Used before the second or further of two or more alternatives (the first being introduced by a negative such as ‘neither’ or ‘not’) to indicate that they are each untrue or each do not happen."

    I have quoted that definition verbatim, as I think it sums up this alternative usage very well.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 08-Jul-2015 at 10:06. Reason: In order to put text into bold for clarity.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    I would call "nor" a conjunction. I don't see it as an adverb.

  4. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    What would you say about this example then: "Nor God nor demon can undo the done."?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    I would change the first "nor" to "no". I still don't see an adverb.

  6. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    Mike, Boris and mehong19,

    I agree the main function of "nor" is as a conjunction.

    The classification as an adverb appears perhaps to be a BrE thing. Both Oxford English Dictionary (definition no.4)
    http://www.oed.com/search?searchType...archBtn=Search

    and Cambridge Dictionaries online:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...er-english/nor

    both classify "nor" as a conjunction and an adverb.

    However, the older hard copy version of OED and Collins dictionaries classify it only as a conjunction.

    Now, just to be awkward, Collins Dictionary: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dic...kiePolicy=true
    has decided to make it not only a conjunction but also preposition.

    Its allocation seems to be an ongoing development in BrE!

    I would agree that therefore it is probably safest, all round, to view it as a conjunction.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 08-Jul-2015 at 12:53. Reason: updated to include new information

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    #9

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    What would you say about this example then: "Nor God nor demon can undo the done."?
    One definition of 'nor' is


    POETIC neither: nor wind nor rain
    (Collins)

    It's listed under conjunction/coordinating preposition​, so take your pick if the part of speech is important to you.

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    #10

    Re: Sentence structure & Meaning of the sentence

    Mehong, please note that a better title would have been Nor did the Whigs envision any conflict...

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

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