Using "neither… nor"

4

2

Neither Italy nor France got to the quarter finals last year.

How should one correctly express the above sentence by including just another subject? Is it:

  1. Neither Italy neither Germany nor France got to the quarter finals last year.

or

  1. Neither Italy nor Germany nor France got to the quarter finals last year.

bart-leby

Posted 2016-03-02T15:57:17.107

Reputation: 8 713

There is actually a (mildly) well-known phrase that is a good example of this kind of construction, the US Postal Service Creed: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

– stangdon – 2016-03-02T18:42:22.230

Answers

6

The second. "Nor" may be repeated, but "neither" cannot.

Colin Fine

Posted 2016-03-02T15:57:17.107

Reputation: 47 277

4(+1) For longer lists, nor operates like other conjunctions, i.e. Neither Italy, Germany, England, Japan, Russia, nor France got to the quarter finals last year. – Era – 2016-03-02T16:04:36.027

2

Version 2 is acceptable.

Usually when the list is more than two we uses commas for all but the last. "Neither Italy, Germany, nor France ..."

Some people say that "neither" should only be used when there are exactly two items under discussion. If more than two, you should use other words, such as "none of". For example, "None of Italy, Germany, or France ..."

In practice, I think, most English speakers consider "none" constructs awkward, and re-cast the sentence to a positive list with a negative verb. "Italy, Germany, and France all failed to get to the finals this year."

Jay

Posted 2016-03-02T15:57:17.107

Reputation: 51 729