Nor or Neither

Hi everybody!

Someone may explain me when can I use “nor” instead of “neither”?

Thank you very much

Sandra - Brasil

Neither…nor is a structure. Nether he or she was at the party.

I saw “nor” alone: …“I am not adept at HTML, nor do I know how all this”… There is not neither in the sentence.
Thank you


The sentence you saw is correct because “nor” can go with other, though not all other, negative expressions. Grammar Girl has a pretty good explanation (and some sample sentences) for the basic rules at … e-nor.aspx.

Hi Sandra,

Let me give you some more examples:1.Neither you nor I speak English very well.(Both you and I do not speak English very well) 2. Either you or I speak English very well. (Both you and I speak English very well) 3. You don’t speak English very well. -Neither do I. 4. You haven’t got 10 billion dollars. Neither have I.


I read the original question as, “When can nor be used in a sentence in place of neither?” The answer is that nor cannot be used as a synonym for neither. However, (and this can be confusing) neither can be used as a synonym for nor!

For example:
I don’t like apples. Neither do I.

I don’t like apples. Nor do I.


Neither of the boys like apples. One cannot say, “[color=red]Nor of the boys like apples

Also, when neither and nor are used together in a sentence, they serve the function of correlative conjunctions. (Neither John nor Tom likes apples.)


In your second sentence, “Either you or I speak English very well”, the meaning is that only one of you speaks English well.

Summarizing all of the above, “neither” can be used differently. When it used as a subject, like in “Neither of the boys like apples”, it means “none = no one”. When it is used in construction with “nor”, like in “Neither you nor I speak English very well”, it means “none of” or “both of” (i.e “none of us speaks English very well” or “both of us don’t speak English very well”).

Also, it can be used in short answers:

  • I don’t like apples.
  • Neither do I (= I don’t either).

I would like to emphasize that in conversation between two persons, the answer should be “neither do I”. However, if conversation is between more than 2 persons, then the second and all following should answer “Nor do I”.

1st person: I don’t like apples.
2nd person: Neither do I.


1st person: I don’t like apples.
2nd person: Neither do I.
3rd person: Nor (do) I.

In fact, none and neither are different. I think the use of nor instead of neither in short answer is just used in communication as I’ve never seen it in any grammar books. Grammar books don’t have everything we want but have everything grammatically right, I think.

It is perfectly acceptable to say “Nor do I” in a conversation between two people.

Hi Expatcat,

I am very grateful for your correction. From now on I will be more careful with examples.

Best regards,


Hi everybody!

Thank you very much for the answers. I think it is a little complicated for me to understand yet. I going to read more times to see if I understand better.

Ellesbells, I tried to go to the site you have told me but I was informed that its name changed or it is temporary out. It is a pitty!

Once more, thank you very much!

Sandra - Brasil

Hi everybody,
The simple way to illustrate the usage of " nor " OR " Neither".
Nor can be used instead of neither : example: I can’t remember his name. " Nor can I." // Neither can I.
Also we can say: " Is he British or American? " Neither. He’s Australian.
Noteither= can be used instead of " neither and nor: example: " I haven’t got any money." " Neither have I." or " I haven’t either."
I hope I’ve been helpful.

Hi Palestine English teacher.

According your sample, I can use “nor” by itself when the sentence is negative: I did not
like working in the factory. Nor I. “Nor” can be used without" neither" is this situation, right?

Thank you very much


As I know,
the correct answer in this case will be “neither did I”.

Yes Sandra, “nor” is fine without “neither” in that situation. However, I would say “Nor did I” sounds better to me than “Nor I” there.

Hi Sandra,
It’s nice talking with you.And yes you can use either of them.
But also I agree with Ellesbells.

Thank you very much for everybody!

I am satisfy with the answers. It was too good to talk with you.
Hope to meet you again in the forum in another opportunity!


Sandra - Brasil