Common mistake neither X or Y (neither X nor Y)

Common Grammar Mistake: Neither X or Y

Correct Usage: Neither X nor Y

The Mistake Explained

One common grammar mistake that people often make is using the word "or" instead of "nor" after the word "neither". This results in the incorrect sentence structure, which can be confusing or misleading to readers.

When using the word "neither" to express a negative connection or correlation between two items, it should always be followed by the conjunction "nor" rather than "or". This is because "neither" is considered a negative word itself, and it requires the use of another negative word, which is "nor", to maintain grammatical correctness.


  • Incorrect: Neither John or Mary attended the party.
  • Correct: Neither John nor Mary attended the party.

In the incorrect example, using "or" instead of "nor" creates confusion as to whether both John and Mary did not attend the party or just one of them. The correct usage using "nor" clarifies that both John and Mary did not attend the party.

Why is it important to use "nor"?

Using "nor" after "neither" ensures that the sentence accurately reflects the intended meaning. It helps to maintain parallelism in sentence construction and promotes clarity in communication. By using "nor" correctly, you can avoid potential confusion or misunderstanding among your readers or listeners.

Linguix Grammar Checker

One way to improve your grammar and avoid common mistakes like using "or" instead of "nor" after "neither" is by utilizing the Linguix grammar checker. This tool offers real-time suggestions and corrections to enhance your writing skills and ensure grammatical accuracy in your work.

By being mindful of this common mistake and using the correct word choice, "neither...nor", you can enhance your writing clarity and maintain proper grammar in your sentences.

neither X or Y (neither X nor Y) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    Neither the teachers or the students won.

    Neither the teachers nor the students won.

  • Incorrect:
    They were neither helping or hurting the plan.

    They were neither helping nor hurting the plan.

  • Correct:
    Still, the Net Works team has not completely ruled BMC out as a potential vendor; but neither is there a commitment (written OR verbal) to make a BMC purchase at this point.
  • Correct:
    Neither course requires any special science or math background; both are geared to the intelligent general student.
Linguix Browser extension
Fix your writing
on millions of websites
Linguix pencil
This website uses cookies to make Linguix work for you. By using this site, you agree to our cookie policy