Ted talks: 1:18-19

When I was watching Ted Talks, I came across the sentence been used by the the speaker.

  • Neither can I, and neither can you,

Well, in normal usage, I would have expected her to say:

  • Neither can I, nor can you,

What is the reason behind this?

2 Answers 2


I suspect the preceding sentence/clause said, "X (someone else) can't do that. Neither can I, and neither can you."

This isn't a case of "neither... nor" (where it is a conjunction). This is a case of "neither" as an adverb (see here). Under "adv.", see the meaning that says "similarly not", after at first something negative about someone else has already been asserted.

"Neither I nor you" would be about a comparison between me and you; I am on one side of the comparison, you are on the other. Here, however, there is a third entity on the other part of the equation, and "I" and "you" are together on our side of the equation. We are both compared to someone who was mentioned first, and it turns out we can not do something, similarly to that first person.


"Neither" can be used without "nor" in a context where there is a previous negative statement that it is attached to. For example: "She can't afford to buy a house, and neither can I" means that neither she nor I can afford to buy a house.

My guess is that your sentence occurs in a context like this; the speaker is saying both "neither can I" and "neither can you." So in the example I made up, I might say "She can't afford to buy a house. Neither can I, and neither can you."

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