Neither vs Nor

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What’s the difference between them?

Neither

Meaning:

indicates that something is not applicable.

Examples:

1. Neither of us had seen the movie before.

2. Neither of us knew what to do.

3. Neither of us had the answer.

Nor

Meaning:

indicates that something is not applicable; shows that either option is chosen.

Examples:

1. Nor did he expect to find her waiting for him at the train station.

2. We can neither confirm nor deny the validity of the rumors.

3. She asked him to go, but he refused to go, nor could she persuade him.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Neither

1. Neither/Nor - Not one or the other

2. Neither here nor there - Irrelevant

3. Nein - No (German)

4. Negatory - Denial

5. Not a chance - Absolutely not

1. Either

2. Opposite

3. Contrary

4. Different

5. Inverse

Nor

1. Not

2. Refuse

3. Reject

4. Deny

5. Disagree

1. Yes

2. Agree

3. Affirmative

4. Approve

5. Positive

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Neither", "Nor".

1. Remember that 'neither' is used to agree negatively with a negative statement. It's similar to saying 'not either.'

2. Recognize that 'nor' is used to introduce a continuing negative element in a sentence. It's often employed to indicate a second negative condition after a negative statement.

3. Think of 'nor' as continuing the negation, presenting an additional negative aspect.

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the word 'neither' be used?

'Neither' is used to join two negative elements and indicate that each is untrue. For example, 'We can neither confirm nor deny the report.' It is also used in negative responses when denying two options, such as 'He neither ate breakfast nor lunch.'

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'nor'?

'Nor' is usually used to join two negative elements, and often follows 'neither.' For example, 'She neither read the book nor wrote the essay.' It can also be used in questions, such as 'Did you neither hear nor see the accident?'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, neither is pronounced /ˈnɪðər/, while nor is pronounced /nɔːr/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake is using 'neither' and 'nor' interchangeably. 'Neither' is used to join two negative elements and indicate that each is untrue, while 'nor' is used to join two negative elements and often follows 'neither.' Another mistake is using both words in an affirmative statement, such as 'He neither ate breakfast nor lunch.' This statement should be used to deny both options, not to affirm that both took place.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I like ___ apples ___ oranges; I prefer bananas.

2. ___ the blue shirt ___ the red one fits me.

3. ___ of the two solutions works for this problem.

4. She can ___ speak Spanish ___ French fluently.

5. The movie was ___ interesting ___ entertaining.

6. ___ Tim ___ Tom were present at the meeting.

1. neither, nor

Explanation: This sentence is presenting two options (apples and oranges) and indicating a lack of preference for either. Thus, neither is used for the first blank, and nor for the second.

2. Neither, nor

Explanation: The sentence is showing that out of the two shirts, neither of them fits. So Neither is used to introduce the options and nor to present the second option.

3. Neither

Explanation: This sentence indicates that out of two solutions, none of them works. Thus, Neither is appropriate.

4. neither, nor

Explanation: The statement indicates that she cant speak either of the two languages fluently. Hence, neither starts the pair and nor continues it.

5. neither, nor

Explanation: The movie wasnt interesting and also wasnt entertaining. The pair neither.. nor.. is used to present these two negative qualities.

6. Neither, nor

Explanation: The sentence states that out of the two people mentioned, none were present. So Neither introduces the options and nor presents the second option.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

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