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Neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor was she beautiful.

It's correct, right?

But neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor she was beautiful.

Is it gramatically wrong?

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  • They are both grammatical, although the second would normally follow from another sentence similar to She didn't have. . . (However, the use of the comma is a less common style choice.) May 8 '18 at 19:38
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This statement is correct:

Neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor was she beautiful.

However, the second statement is grammatically incorrect.

The phrase "nor she" would be used if you were saying something along the lines of:

Neither he was beautiful, nor she.

(Referring to two different people.)

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Neither and nor belong to the set of those negative polarity items which can stand first in a sentence, and trigger inversion, so that the verb or auxiliary precedes the subject. Other examples are never, nowhere, hardly, scarcely, rarely (eg Rarely have I seen such a thing!), and more complex negative adverbial expressions such as at no time. Positive polarity words cannot usually stand in this position, and if they come first, they are usually set off in a separate breath group. Compare:

Neither did he see her come in.

versus

Indeed, he saw her come in.

So the form you want must be

Neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor was she beautiful.

However, for me, using neither in this way as the first half of a pair of sentences is awkward. I would use it interchangeably with nor in the second sentence of the pair:

She did not have cracks on her side, and neither/nor was she beautiful.

but I would not use your sentence above.

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"But neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor she was beautiful." Is correct as per the rule that inversion shouldn't be repeated. We could either say "But neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor she was beautiful." OR "But neither she had cracks on her sides, nor was she beautiful.".

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  • Could you site a website or a book that state this rule?
    – Fermichem
    Dec 1 '21 at 6:09

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