When it comes to writing, proper grammar is essential to conveying your message effectively and professionally. One grammar rule that often trips people up is verb agreement with “neither nor” constructions. In this article, we`ll explore what “neither nor” constructions are, and how to ensure proper verb agreement for them.
“Neither nor” constructions are essentially a pairing of two negative nouns or pronouns. They are used to indicate that neither of the options being presented are valid. For example, “Neither John nor Jane is attending the party.” In this case, we are saying that both John and Jane will not be attending the party.
When it comes to verb agreement, the rule is simple: the verb should agree with the noun or pronoun closest to it. Let`s break down the example above to see how this works. We have two options: John and Jane. The verb “is” agrees with the closest option, which is Jane. Therefore, the sentence is correct.
However, it`s not uncommon for people to get tripped up with this rule. For example, they might write “Neither the car nor the tires were in good condition.” In this case, the verb “were” is incorrect, because it does not agree with the noun closest to it (car). The correct sentence would be “Neither the tires nor the car was in good condition.” The verb “was” agrees with the noun closest to it (car).
It`s important to note that “neither nor” constructions can also be used in the plural sense. For example, “Neither the boys nor the girls are interested in playing sports.” In this case, the verb “are” is correct, because it agrees with the closest option (girls).
In conclusion, proper verb agreement is crucial to conveying a clear and professional message. When using “neither nor” constructions, make sure to choose the verb that agrees with the noun or pronoun closest to it. With these tips in mind, you`ll be able to write confidently and accurately.