Common mistakes: Neither

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Common Mistakes

Common mistakes: Neither

:Check the correct statement(s)

.Inside the examination room we could neither smoke or talk
.Inside the examination room we could neither smoke nor talk

.His parents neither shouted at him or smacked him
.His parents neither shouted at him nor smacked him

.Neither teachers are coming
.Neither teacher is coming
.Neither of the teachers is coming

Neither

Adverb

.BAD: Inside the examination room we could neither smoke or talk
.GOOD: Inside the examination room we could neither smoke nor talk

.BAD: I have neither studied the language nor the culture
.GOOD: I have studied neither the language nor the culture

.BAD: His parents neither shouted at him or smacked him
.GOOD: His parents neither shouted at him nor smacked him

:neither … nor … (NOT neither … or …)

.The sales assistant was neither friendly nor helpful

.Compare: You can either come with me or wait here

.BAD: I have neither studied the language nor the culture
.GOOD: I have studied neither the language nor the culture

Neither should be placed immediately before the first of the connected items and nor immediately before the second

.Compare: I have neither studied nor experienced the culture

Pronoun

.BAD: Neither John’s father nor mine couldn’t understand the problem
.GOOD: Neither John’s father nor mine could understand the problem

:After neither and neither … nor … the verb is affirmative (NOT negative)

.Neither applicant had the right qualifications

.Neither the teachers nor the students had been informed

.BAD: Neither teachers are coming
.GOOD: Neither teacher is coming
.GOOD: Neither of the teachers is coming

:After neither + singular noun, the verb is singular

.Neither player wants a transfer

:After neither of + plural noun, careful users prefer a singular verb

.Neither of the players wants a transfer

:Some people use a plural verb, especially in informal styles

.Neither of the players want a transfer

 

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