comma before 'or'/with 'neither...nor' [conjunction]: He..., or he

Discussion in 'English Only' started by 89ten, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. 89ten Junior Member

    german
    1. He either should have stayed at home or gone to the pub.
    2. He either should have stayed at home or he should have gone to the pub.

    3. He neither went to the pub, nor to the casino.
    4. He did not go to the pub, nor did he go to the casino.

    5. He went to the park or he went to the garden.
    6. He went to the park, or he went to the garden.

    Are these sentences correct? Mainly, I wonder if the comma in front of “nor,” in 3rd sentence can be omitted, and also, is it required in 4th sentence?

    Ms Word doesn’t let me to put comma in 1st and 2nd sentence, but has nothing against a comma in 5th and 6th line. I placed one nonetheless in the last sentence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    You should be careful with the grammar suggestions of MS Word, as the program may fail to correctly parse more complex (and some more simple) sentences.

    When using a conjunction such as or to separate two independent clauses, to separate two clauses that could by themselves be complete sentences, the comma preceding the conjunction is expected. In some sentences, one may choose to omit the comma because it may seem to create too much of an interruption.

    There is no reason to insert a comma in sentence 3. One could use commas in sentences 2, 4, and 6; I would likely choose to use them and others might not.
     
  3. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    One of the problems with some of these sentences is that they're not likely ever to be said in real life. The other problem is that I don't think that you're using "neither/nor" correctly.

    You mention a comma "in front of "nor" in the 3rd sentence"... I see no comma...

    1. and 2. are grammatically correct and both can be used. In sentence 3., "nor" should be "or". 4. is fine. 5. is fine.
     

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