November 27, 2014

Conjunctions: Correlative

Correlative conjunctions work only in pairs:

either/or

  • Either go to bed early this evening or stop complaining about being tired in class.

Both words make up the correlative conjunction. Alone EITHER is an indefinite pronoun and OR is a coordinating conjunction.

neither/nor

  • Neither contestant nor his sponsor was willing to attend the lecture.

Both words make up the correlative conjunction.  Alone NEITHER is an adjective and NOR is a coordinating conjunction.

not only/but also

  • The newspaper reported that not only the hurricane but also the ensuing floods caused millions of dollars worth of damage.

whether/or

  • Does anyone know whether the president or the vice president was responsible for providing the announcement to the press?

Remember that when either is used without or and neither is used without nor, it acts as an adjective or pronoun.

  • Either movie seems to be a good choice. (adjective)
  • Either seems like a good choice to me. (pronoun)
  • Neither book was good. (adjective)
  • Neither was good. (pronoun)

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Comments

  1. April 15, 2012

    Dear Director,

    I’ve serious problems with the use of ‘neither nor’ as correlative conjuctions. I’m not sure with the rules of constructing compound sentences with ‘neither nor’. I really need to ask you the following questions in order to get rid of the grammatical confusions I’ve in my mind.

    Ques1. Are all sentences in which we have correlative conjuctions are compound sentences. For example ‘Neither Tom nor tim is correct.’ Is this a compound sentence? If not, why?

    Ques 2. Do you think the following compound sentences are gramatically correct, but not used . Please make comments on them.

    1. The book was neither very interesting, nor did the publisher advertise it successfully.

    2. Neither the book was very interesting, nor the publisher advertise it successfully.

    3. Neither was the book very interesting, nor did the publisher advertise it successfully.

    Ques 3. Please write a few compound sentences using ‘ neither nor’ and explain why they are compound.

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

    Best regards,

    Hasan İzzet

  2. Pem chuki tobgyal says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    I am confused in using correlative conjunction especially in these following sentences.
    1. Neither does she like tea nor does she like coffee. (can we use “does/did” after neither)
    Or
    Can we simply say: Neither she likes tea nor coffee.
    Please comment it ll be appreciated.
    Thank you
    Pem Choki tobgyal

  3. In the first example you have given “does” or “did” is required in the first use and optional in the second.
    With that said, although it is technically correct to say or write: “Neither does she like tea or coffee,” it is very formal and clumsy for spoken language.
    As for the second example. it is grammatically incorrect to write or say: “Neither she likes tea or coffee.” On the other hand, you may write or say “She likes neither tea nor coffee.” I hope that helps.

  4. tasha mae sam says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    I am confused in using correlative conjunction especially in these following sentences.
    1. Neither does she like tea nor does she like coffee. (can we use “does/did” after neither)
    Or
    Can we simply say: Neither she likes tea nor coffee.
    Please comment it ll be appreciated.
    Thank you
    tasha mae sam

  5. Dear sir/madam,

    i am confused because my teacher said that if you will use neither in a sentence do not use nor just use does/did i think your wrong and my teacher is correct we always use does and did we are not gonna use nor i am sorry this page is not useful. everybody do not listen to The Tounge Untied i am sorry

    from:tasha mae sam
    to:The Tounge Untied

    I AM NOT GONNA FOLLOW THE TOUNG UNTIED ANYMORE
    THEY ARE LYING LIARS GO TO HELL!!!
    TELL THE TRUTH THE TOUN UNTIED….

    FUCK YOU!!!!!!!

  6. She likes neither coffee nor tea.
    She does not like coffee or tea.

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