Matheus
Please, help me with this topic Hello everyone I´ve been reading "Harry Potter and the Philosopher´s Stone" and I´m not sure if this structure is right: "However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth." Is it possible to use [neither] + [or] ? I´ve looked for this structure and I couldn´t find anything. In my point of view, the structure should be: "However, this mirror won´t give us either knowledge or truth" or "However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge nor truth." Please, help me with this doubt and feel free to correct any mistake in this text. Thanks a lot Matheus
May 3, 2017 9:20 PM
Answers · 6
Neither + nor would be the proper way to write it, I think. But people don't always speak that way. It may be an instance where the author was trying to adhere to spoken English more than proper written English. Harry Potter is a "young adult" book after all, despite how popular it is with people of all ages. JK Rowling probably did not want it to sound too "stuffy".
May 3, 2017
"neither... nor..." is correct. "neither... or..." is lazy and wrong, but would understood and would not be criticised in informal contexts. JK Rowling is a good storyteller but she sometimes doesn't pay attention to smaller grammar details. She may not even have learned grammar formally.
May 3, 2017
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Matheus
Language Skills
English, Portuguese
Learning Language
English