In the context of the following sentence, what is a better alternative to the phrase/idiom 'let alone'?

The weapon was not seized, let alone tendered in court during the trial.

I tried searching online for an alternative to 'let alone', however, my search results were 'leave alone, get off, etc' which does not suit the legal context of the sentence.

  • 1
    This is the definition needed for your sentence.
    – JMB
    Dec 5, 2020 at 23:34
  • The quote is missing a comma: "The weapon was not seized, let alone tendered in court during the trial". (Not that I'd edit a direct quote...)
    – RonJohn
    Dec 6, 2020 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


In this phrase, "let alone" has the same meaning as "much less". It indicates that since the first part of the sentence didn't happen, the second part wouldn't have happened either since it is less likely.

Other example uses:

My sister wouldn't let me look at her expensive jewelry, let alone wear it.

The teacher doesn't allow discussion of smoking, much less the act itself.

With this knee I can hardly walk, never mind run

I haven't even heard about Dungeons and Dragons, not to mention having played it.

  • 3
    The last example doesn't sound right to my ear. I think "I haven't even heard of Dungeons and Dragons, never mind played it" would work better. "Not to mention" reinforces an argument by providing an additional example, whereas "never mind" better fits your description in the first paragraph.
    – CameronD17
    Dec 6, 2020 at 18:31
  • 1
    @CameronD17 Never Mind is another good example, I'll add it later. But Not to Mention and Let Alone are very similar in usage and meaning as well. "A is unlikely, so I wouldn't even mention the less likely B" is how I read it. Here's a stack exchange question I found with Let Alone and Not To Mention as synonyms: english.stackexchange.com/questions/162675/…
    – mjjf
    Dec 7, 2020 at 0:06

You need to think of the actual meaning you want to convey. I this case it seems you want to describe a couple of actions that did not occur:

The weapon was neither seized nor was it tendered in court during the trial.

You can insert "even" to rhetorically emphasise the second fact

...nor was it even tendered in court...

  • 5
    To use even with the same meaning as let alone, you need to switch the position of the verbs: I haven't had my coffee, let alone breakfast = I haven't had breakfast, or even coffeeI haven't had coffee, or even breakfast.
    – Max
    Dec 6, 2020 at 1:18

When I write, I try to be as "simple" in the use of my words as possible. Using the original sentence

The weapon was not seized, let alone tendered in court during the trial.

I would write it as

The weapon was not seized, nor tendered in court during the trial.


The weapon was not seized, nor used in court during the trial.

To me these convey the original meaning with simpler words.

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