can neither be


Senior Member
Italiano, Italia
Is it the use of "neither...nor" in this sentence correct?
Or should I better rephrase by saying cannot be... either or...?
Thanks :)

It is suggested that truth can neither be conceptualised as absolute nor as arbitrary.
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It depends on what you're trying to say. If you mean that truth can't be determined to be conceptual or arbitrary, then "neither, "nor" is correct.

    If you're saying that truth can be determined to be one or the other, then you must use "either", "or".


    Senior Member
    England English
    The "neither...nor" structure is OK, but the word positioning is difficult. These two words need to come immediately before the two alternative adjectives:

    It is suggested that truth can be conceptualised neither as absolute nor as arbitrary.

    But this doesn't sound all that great either. So we get back to your suggestion:

    It is suggested that truth cannot be conceptualised either as absolute or as arbitrary.

    That seems to me to be the best form (but still not wonderful).
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