Given sentence: No letter was sent to me. No postcard was sent to me.

(1) Neither letter nor postcard was sent to me.
(2) Neither a letter nor a postcard was sent to me.
(3) Neither any letter nor any postcard was sent to me.

I'd like to know whether these three sentences are the same in meaning with the original one or not. Thanks a lot.

  • The first is ungrammatical the way I see it. The second is fine. The third is rediculous. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 15:51
  • @SovereignSun I'm a native speaker, and while I can't explain why without a bit of a think, dropping the article after "neither" seems perfectly fine to me, if a little stilted and formal. Also, it's spelled ridiculous.
    – Some_Guy
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


In essence, all three sentences mean the same thing. However, if you want to delve into the nuances, (2) and (3) give greater emphasis on the objects (the letter and postcard).

However, unless one was asked to carefully examine these three sentences, they would see no difference between them.


'Neither any' looks slightly awkward to me, but it is correct. But there is an emotional aspect to it. I would prefer "Neither a letter" in normal situations. But if I am in a fight then I use 'any'.

Neither letter nor postcard also is a bit 'off' to me.

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