In my schoolwork, I stumbled upon this sentence that needed rewriting.

The guests didn't have food or drink; neither did the hostess .

Here's my take

Neither did he nor the hostess have any food or drink .

It was not accepted, maybe due to the school's guildline. I wonder if my take was grammatically correct. As I am not asking whether I should use this or not, and what would be the better alternatives.

  • Try "Neither he nor the hostess had any food or drink." Simpler and clearer.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 2:47
  • But did mine also work, grammatically ? Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:19
  • It's possibly grammatical, but it sounds awfully strange to my ear. It's definitely something you'd send to Rewrite.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


Neither the guests nor the hostess had any food or drink(s).

As far as I'm understanding it, there are guests who don't have food or drink(s) and there is the hostess who also doesn't have food or drink(s).

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