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    #1

    Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    Hi,
    Could someone please help me with this one? I have a sentence:

    It was not going to be difficult, at least not for John nor / or me.

    Should I use 'nor' or 'or' in the last part of the sentence? Or can I use either? Thanks very much.

    Stephen.

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    #2

    Re: Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    I only use the word nor when I pair it with the word neither. This is not a strict grammar rule, but it is correct, common usage.

    Your sentence should be: "...not for John or me." If you said "...not for John nor me." I would consider it non-idiomatic usage. If you said "...at least for neither John nor me." I would consider it non-idiomatic and awkward.

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    #3

    Question Re: Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    If you said "...at least for neither John nor me." I would consider it non-idiomatic and awkward.
    BTW, what does this 'non-idiomatic' here mean? 'Idiomatic' is something that relates to an idiom, but I can't find it here (which obviously results from my lack of knowledge).

    Thanks,
    Nyggus


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    #4

    Re: Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    It is used to mean "fluent" English.

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    #5

    Re: Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    When I refer to "idiomatic English," I'm referring to the natural speech of native speakers. That speech may or may not be grammatically correct. Many native English speakers where I live will utter a sentence like, "Them peoples is stupid." This sentence has several grammatical errors, but it is idiomatic (non-standard dialect) English and every other native English speaker will understand its meaning.

    If a person says, "The laces of the shoes that are mine can be joined together through the utilization of abilities that are my own," his sentence is grammatically correct, but non-idiomatic because no native speaker would say that instead of some form of, "I can tie my own shoes."

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    #6

    Re: Use of 'not' and 'nor'

    Thank you for your input, everyone; appreciated.

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