Jang Joonggun
In this sentence neither Is necessary? My book said, - The eagle could not attack the serpent neither with his sharp beak nor his claws. Can I write in this way? - The eagle could not attack the serpent with his sharp beak or his claws. I mean 'neither' is necessary?
Feb 12, 2016 6:39 PM
Answers · 7
In theory both are correct, but neither........nor would be more common to use since it denotes the double negation. Most native speakers do not distinguish in usage. Neither...........or is also possible here.
February 12, 2016
Technically, you should use the "neither"/"nor" combination here. I would say it is necessary for proper English. When you say "his sharp beak or his claws", you can imply that he can still use either his sharp beak or his claws, but not both. However, "neither his sharp beak nor his claws" implies that the eagle cannot use his sharp beak and he also cannot use his claws.
February 12, 2016
The eagle could not attack the serpent with either his sharp beak or his claws. Can't have neither after a negative. So if you wanted to use neither you would have to do something like. Neither the eagle's beak not claws allowed him to attack the serpent. You shouldn't use nor without neither. So the question here is can you say the following without either not neither, I think it sounds better with either. The eagle could not attack the serpent with either his sharp beak or his claws.
February 12, 2016
I think your way is a definite improvement on the original, which has some problems: - A double negative: "couldn't" with "neither ... nor" - A scope problem for "with", which does not apply to "his claws" the way it is written, although it needs to. If you still want to use "neither ... nor" and also address these two issues, you could write "The eagle could attack the serpent neither with his sharp beak nor with his claws". But both that and your version allow the possibility that the eagle could attack in another manner again, let's say with his wings. If you mean he had no way of attacking, and the claws and the beak were particular ways that were excluded, then you need a "non-restrictive" modifier, which calls for a comma and putting the modifier affirmatively: "The eagle could not attack the serpent, either with his sharp beak or with his claws". (By the way, I'll just mention that there's one other minor issue, which is the ambiguity in the antecedent of "his". As all of these examples are written, it might be taken to refer to the serpent rather than the eagle. But we'll let that one pass, and say we should know from the context somehow.)
February 13, 2016
sorry, above comment was accident and I don't know how to delete it.
March 5, 2016
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Jang Joonggun
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language
English