In many cases, if not always, we can rephrase a sentence with the neither-nor construction to eliminate it. Instead of "He neither likes apples nor dislikes them", I could write "He does not likes apples or dislikes them" and there are other natural alternatives. When is it the case that something is gained with the neither-nor construction? I ask the question because I was told that this construction is not for kitchen speech. So being less usual, I feel we need to good reasons to use it

  • It should be "He does not like apples or dislike them". I think the sentence is grammatical but it is a bit unclear. Perhaps it is more natural to say "He neither likes nor dislikes apples". May 3, 2021 at 16:18
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    What do you mean by 'this construction was not for kitchen speech'? Why do you want to avoid using neither-nor? It is by far the most idiomatic way of combining two negatives. May 3, 2021 at 16:35
  • Kate Bunting, this is not my view. It's something I was told. I am glad to be told otherwise here. Still, the question makes sense, because there might be situations where the neither-nor construction is more appropriate than others.
    – Dominic108
    May 3, 2021 at 20:09


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