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Which sentence should be correct?

I am neither robber nor police.
Neither I am robber nor police.

I often saw ( neither....nor) is sometimes used in the middle of sentences and sometimes it is used out of sentences as I added two examples here.

Would you like to tell me the reason behind this problem place?

2
  • Neither is that the only possibility: there are others. Nor shall I list them all here.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 1:52
  • You might find this web lesson to be helpful.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 2:11

2 Answers 2

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The first sentence "I am neither robber nor police." is the correct form, but the way that I would say it is" "I am neither a robber nor the police."

The problem with the second sentence is that the verb is out of place. A Neither/Nor phrases represents two possible ways to end a sentence: "I am not a robber." and "I am not the police.", but then combines them into the same sentence.

Using an Either/Or or Neither/Nor phrase is a way of combining two different sentences into one. This sentence combines "I am not a robber." with "I am not the police.". The combined sentence now has one beginning: "I am not..." and two endings: "...a robber." and "...the police.".

Either/Or lets you have two endings to the same sentence, and so it becomes: "I am not either a robber or the police." This sounds awkward to our ears which is why we have Neither/Nor for negatives. The "not" distributes over the either and the or and we get neither and nor and thus:

"I am neither a robber nor the police."

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  • The article is required. "I am not robber." is incorrect. "I am not robber and police" is incorrect. "I am neither robber nor police" is incorrect. You must use the article here.
    – BadZen
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 20:23
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For the second sentence: “Neither I am robber nor police”
You can convert as:

“Neither am I a robber nor a police.” = inversion mood

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