Since there's no warning nor error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

Since there's no warning or error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

Which one is grammatically correct or both are grammatically correct?

P.S. Please don't change "I assume it's valid AHK code?" to a statement, it contradicts the writer's intent.


3 Answers 3


Since there's no warning nor error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

This sentence is not correct because no negates everything that follows. You therefore add things to the list using or, not nor:

I went to the supermarket, but they had no (apples or oranges or lemons)

The following sentence is therefore correct:

Since there's no warning or error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

There are differences between British English and American English: it is possible to find occasional instances where nor is used after no in American English, mainly in older publications.

I passed no water nor anything that indicated it. - Southeastern Wisconsin: A History of Old Milwaukee County, John Goadby Gregory, 1932
The third extract contained no gold nor selenium -US Geological Survey, 1914

If you do want to use nor in this sentence, there are two ways to make it more generally acceptable: by replacing no with neither, or by limiting the scope of no using a comma.

The more conventional approach is to replace no with neither. This works because neither just negates the first thing in the list:

It's neither fish, nor fowl, nor good red herring (traditional English expression)

Since there's neither warning nor error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

The more literary approach would be to put a comma before nor, to limit the scope of no:

Since there's no warning, nor error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code?

Normally, when you make a question, you [invert][1] the subject and auxiliary verb. A question without inversion is indicated only by intonation. Section 32 of the Oxford Guide to English Grammar (John Eastwood, 1994) has this to say about questions without inversion:

In informal conversation a question can sometimes have the same word order as in a statement. The question has a rising intonation.

The machine gives change? ~ No, it doesn't.
You're travelling tomorrow?~ Yes.
The car is blue?~ That's right.
The car is what colour? ~ Blue.
They went which way?~ That way.
We use this kind of question only when it follows on from what was said before.

I need a return ticket to Paddington. ~ You're travelling when?~ Tomorrow.

Two points to note: it is only used in informal conversation, and only used in a follow-on question. This is more restrictive than in some other languages.

Ellie K's example would only work in a follow-on question:

Person A: A dog bit my leg.
Person B: A dog bit your leg?

Here is a version of the OP's sentence as a follow-on question:

Person A: If there's neither warning nor error thrown, What would you do?
Person B: I assume it's valid AHK code?

In a formal conversation or writing, you should make a question by inverting the subject and auxiliary verb. To ask a polite question, use should:

Since there's neither warning nor error thrown, should I assume that it's valid AHK code?

  • 2
    All questions should be ended with a question mark regardless of the words used to ask the question. But that's another discussion. A dog bit your leg?
    – EllieK
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 14:03
  • @JavaLatte Seems like both "nor" and "or" are grammatically correct, ref1, ref2.
    – Wenfang Du
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 0:13
  • 1
    @WenfangDu The links that you provided, and the links within those links, sanction the use of nor on its own, or nor following not, or nor following never, but I don't see anything relating to the use of no with nor.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 1:58
  • 1
    @JavaLatte Thanks, I'm sold.
    – Wenfang Du
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 6:41
  • 1
    A source is off-site, third party. I don't see a link. It looks like a mere assertion. What is the third-party basis from other experts that "no" negates everything that follows?
    – Jesse
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 4:20

Both are okay

It depends on whether you want to emphasize the negation of the second item in the list

When to Use 'Nor' (Quick and Dirty Tips):

“Nor” doesn’t necessarily have to appear in a sentence with the word “neither.” “Nor” can start a sentence.

How to Use Nor (wikiHow):

Use "nor" with other negatives. Even though "nor" is almost always used after "neither," you can use it with other negative expressions and still form something grammatically correct.

From these and my own 1 million + words on Amazon.com, I conclude:

  1. The issue with "nor" and "or" is to use the same word throughout a list, say if you said, "nor..." three times, each time should use either "nor" or "or", no switching.

  2. If you use "neither", then you must use "nor".

  3. If you use "either", then you must use "or".

  4. The pattern "neither... nor..." is common, but the "neither" may be omitted.

  5. "Either" has its own rules, such as either "I don't either" or "Neither do I", but rules for "either" go beyond the scope of this Question here.

So when used properly (listed above):

"or" can delimit an item in a list of things negated; "nor" further clarifies that each item is negated.

Neither = Nor

Further, "neither" might be used interchangeably with "nor"

Neither, neither … nor and not … either (Cambridge):

He hadn’t done any homework, neither had he brought any of his books to class.

Neither do I, Nor can she

Other research

This has also been addressed on the ELU (Using "nor" in a list without "neither")


KJV: "nor" can be used in any negative list

  • "Nor," is not required to start a sentence if without "neither".
  • "neither" is not required to precede "nor" in mid sentence.
  • We still can't use "nor" and "or" to separate peers
    • Not allowed: "One or two nor three"

Many good answers here cite other examples with a different precedent. These sources ultimately point back to Shakespeare if you follow their trails of sources.

But, Shakespeare is not the only anchor of English; the King James Bible is too.

Here is a verse from the King James Version, an official publication from the British government by the King who immediately succeeded Elizabeth Tudor, Shakespeare's contemporary:

Zechariah 4:6 (KJV, bold emphasis added)

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

I respectfully conclude that this is a different precedent from all other examples. Together, those other answers make a rule as they describe. It is a Shakespearean-only precedent, not a complete-recognized precedent.

But, using King James's English, that precedent does not stand. You can use "nor" in mid sentence without needing to follow "neither" as long as every item in the list is negative.

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