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Origin of neither
grammar notes for neither
As a correlative conjunction, neither is almost always followed by nor, not or: Neither the liberals nor the conservatives had originally supported the winner. Subjects connected by neither … nor take singular verbs and pronouns when both subjects are singular ( Neither Diane nor Nicole has her own apartment ), plural when both are plural: Neither the Yankees nor the Dodgers got much help from their bull pens that year. Usage guides commonly say that when a singular and a plural subject are joined by these correlative conjunctions, the noun or pronoun nearer the verb should determine the number of the verb: Neither the mayor nor the council members have yielded on the issue. Neither the council members nor the mayor has yielded on the issue. Practice in this matter varies, however, and often the presence of one plural, no matter what its position, results in a plural verb.
In edited writing the construction following neither is parallel to the one following nor : The great days of American political oratory are neither dead nor waning (not neither are dead nor waning ). This sale sacrifices neither quality nor availability (not This sale neither sacrifices quality nor availability ).
Although some usage guides say that neither may introduce a series of no more than two, it often is used to introduce a series of three or more: The head of that department is neither skillful nor well-prepared nor honest. See also either.
pronunciation note for neither
Words nearby neither
Example sentences from the Web for neither
But the enemy of the new emirs is neither the Jew nor the Christian, it is the godless militant defending secularism.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Despite the strong language, however, the neither the JPO nor Lockheed could dispute a single fact in either Daily Beast report.
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party have done anything to consistently target Asian- American voters.
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods|James Higdon|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Hmm, who are these people standing in front of the machines at the gym, neither occupying them nor not occupying them?
A desultory conversation on politics, in which neither took the slightest interest, was a safe neutral ground.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
On the morning after Ramona's disappearance, words had been spoken by each which neither would ever forget.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
This was no strange sight to the boy by that time, but it was awkward in the circumstances, for he had neither gun nor spear.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
Neither privately owned nor government stock is entitled to voting power.Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips
But she did not succeed in finding a suitable studio, neither an instructor who pleased her, and she returned to Amsterdam.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement
British Dictionary definitions for neither
- not one nor the other (of two); not eitherneither foot is swollen
- (as pronoun)neither can win
- (used preceding alternatives joined by nor) notneither John nor Mary nor Joe went
- another word for nor (def. 2)