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I wonder whether in the example below:

  • Peter isn't here today. Martha isn't either.

Can we substitute the second sentence for "Neither is Martha"?

I'm asking this question because once I read in Practical English Usage by "Michael Swan" that one cannot use "neither" here as an exception. (I can't exactly recall the rule!) While we can say:

Peter didn't pass the exam. Neither did Martha. as well as "Martha didn't either."

Please kindly enlighten me.

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    I think you must have either misunderstood or are misremembering something from Swann. Your one cannot use "neither" here as an exception doesn't tie up with anything I can see in my PDF 3rd edition of Practical English Usage, nor does it mean anything to me as a native speaker. In practice, we normally use neither + [verb] rather than either + NOT + [verb], but both forms are perfectly acceptable in contexts like your example. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 15 at 15:50
  • What about "Martha neither" @FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica? – A-friend Feb 16 at 18:09
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    I'd say that Me neither is perfectly common (though personally, I'd usually say Nor me, and punctilious pedants might prefer Nor I). But for non-pronoun contexts, nobody much likes the "neither" version. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 16 at 18:26
  • Well @FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica thank you, but I think: "pronoun + neither" works, as in: > - "I don't like tea. Me neither." While using it along with a "proper noun" like: > - "Martha neither." (Name + neither) would sound a bit off. Do you confirm my take on it? – A-friend Feb 16 at 20:17
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    That is what I meant by my previous comment, yes. But thinking about it again now, I shouldn't have used the word "pronoun". So far as I'm concerned, the only relatively idiomatic version is Me neither (I dislike You / Him / Us / They neither as much as John neither). Perhaps the specific case of first person singular is influenced by people (consciously or unconsciously) sidestepping that tiresome choice between Nor me and Nor I, I dunno. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 17 at 13:28
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I think you can say "Neither is Martha".

In one of the most recent news about Buttigieg replying to Biden, you can read the following (please check the full text here):

Buttigieg: Biden is right that I'm no Barack Obama, but 'neither is he'

I believe that Buttigieg speaks proper English and he uses "neither is he" in his answer.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you @Anatolii, but may I ask you for which dialect are you speaking? – A-friend Feb 15 at 15:24

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