He can't swim nor drive.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by doctor robert, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. doctor robert New Member

    portuguese
    I've been told that the word "nor" is used with the word "neither" for example: "I neither want nor need your money", but I was watching a video on youtube some days ago and I heard a man saying something like "He can't swim nor drive" and "I don't feel lonely nor lost" are these sentences correct? I mean, he didn't say "neither",he used "not" instead.
    I've done some research and found that "nor" can be used with "Neither","not" and "never", but I'm still not sure, can somebody help me?
    thank you in advance.
     
  2. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    'He can neither swim nor drive' is my preference.
    I understand your confusion - I feel it myself! :)
    'He can't swim or drive' also sounds acceptable to me, just not as critical or negative, more matter-of-fact.
     
  3. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I would not use either of those. He can't swim or drive. I don't feel lonely or lost.

    Cross-posted with HG, with whom I agree :)
     
  4. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    "He can't swim, nor can he drive" makes sense (it means "He can't swim, and he can't drive either"), but not "He can't swim nor drive". The "not ... nor ..." construction requires complete clauses, with a finite verb coming before its subject after "nor".
     
  5. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    Only in the special case that Forero describes (see below). Otherwise "or" is correct:

    Like the posters above, I would say
    - He can not swim or fly. (not "nor")
    - He never dances or sings. (not "nor")
    - He neither dances nor sings.

    Forero points out that "nor" can be used when two full clauses are used:
    - He can not swim, nor can he fly.
    - He never dances, nor does he sing.
     
  6. doctor robert New Member

    portuguese
    oh,I got it now,thanks guys,it really helped.
     

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