Is the usage of "neither... nor" natural in the following sentence?

A: Are you an organized person?

B: I am not the most organized person, but I'm neither procrastinator nor spontaneous. I tend to schedule things and plan my day in advance, but not every second of the day.

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    The word "but" sets up an opposition between "not the most organized" and "neither procrastinator nor spontaneous", which itself is an opposition. The meaning isn't very clear. Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 6:36
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    There is an opposition between being an organized person and being a procrastinator or spontaneous. Organized people are typically not spontaneous. Organized people are also not procrastinators. I do think the second sentence is insufficiently linked, but I could still see someone saying it... it just reflects a certain set of (false) assumptions about what procrastination entails. Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 6:40
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    in case it wasn't clear to you, "neither ... nor" means exactly the same as "not ... and also not" so in this case "I'm not a procrastinator and also not spontaneous".
    – Ivo
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 13:45
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    "neither ... nor ..." is used exactly like "either ... or ..." but with the opposite meaning. Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 14:45
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    It's also worth noting that procrastinator is a noun and spontaneous is an adjective. They should not be used together (separated by a conjunction like you are using them. You might say something like "but I'm neither a procrastinator nor am I spontaneous", but it seems a bit awkward still
    – Flydog57
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Yes, the usage of "neither... nor" is natural in this sentence. There is a grammatical mistake however, as "procrastinator" needs an article-- specifically, it needs to be "a procrastinator" here.

I'm neither a procrastinator nor spontaneous.

The reverse order would also work.

I'm neither spontaneous nor a procrastinator.

Content-wise, I am skeptical that "not being a procrastinator" is addressed in the following sentence... scheduling things and planning the day have nothing to do with procrastination. That said, it's still a natural sentence, and would be idiomatic to a native or fluent speaker.

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    I think in poetic/literary contexts the article can actually be omitted; at least it sounds OK to my British English ears. Possibly influenced by the idiom "neither use nor ornament".
    – Muzer
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 16:52
  • @muzer: Not to a Canadian ear (influenced by 30 years in the US).
    – Flydog57
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 21:43
  • @Muzer It can be, but that clearly doesn't apply to this situation, and it's a very old-style folktale or biblical way of speaking. It's not worth mentioning here.
    – user91988
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 23:55

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