2

Here two examples of two negative clauses:

He neither approved my decision, nor did he approve yours.

He didn't approve my decision, nor did he approve yours.

Which variant is right and which is wrong? Or are these variants equivalent?

9
  • 6
    What do you think is wrong with these?
    – tchrist
    Sep 18, 2023 at 13:38
  • 4
    Neither is a word that creates a fork - going left and right. You need a parallel construction, missing in #1. Sep 18, 2023 at 13:46
  • 2
    1. would work if you changed it a little bit. He approved neither my decision nor yours. When approved appears after neither, we expect to see disapproved after nor.
    – Phil Sweet
    Sep 18, 2023 at 14:19
  • 2
    The second sounds more idiomatic to me as an American. I'm not sure what Brits would find more natural.
    – Barmar
    Sep 18, 2023 at 15:56
  • 1
    In casual speech, people go out of their way to avoid both "neither" and "nor".
    – Spencer
    Sep 18, 2023 at 16:52

1 Answer 1

1

He neither approved my decision, nor did he approve yours.

Because the two boldfaced chunks have non-parallel constructions (different grammatical structures), the above sentence is incorrect.

On the other hand, these correct sentences all equivalently convey the quoted sentence's intended meaning:

  • He approved neither my decision nor yours.

  • He neither approved my decision nor approved yours.

    (There's no good reason to write this sentence unless you are trying to say something like “He neither approved my decision nor disapproved yours” instead.)

  • He did not approve my decision; neither/nor did he approve yours.

  • He did not approve my decision; he did not approve yours either.

4
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    – Community
    Sep 18, 2023 at 16:18
  • I think correct answer will be "He neither approved my decision, nor he approved yours.". But I met examples where inversion was used after "nor". Sep 18, 2023 at 17:45
  • Here is the link where conjunction "neither ..., nor ..." is used, but after "nor" you can see usage of the inversion. dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/… Sep 19, 2023 at 6:26
  • @АлександрСкворцов I think correct answer is "He neither approved my decision, nor he approved yours." No, your new suggestion still does not have the required parallel construction (and is not being endorsed by your provided Cambridge Dictionary link). The 2nd and 3rd bullets are the closest alternatives to your suggestions. Why do you not like the 1st bullet, which is as succinct as it gets?
    – ryang
    Sep 19, 2023 at 9:39

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