Tanit recently wrote in another thread, "I'm not a native nor a teacher."

My ear tells me to say, "I'm neither a native nor a teacher," or "I'm not a native, nor am I a teacher." Should the original bother me?

I've seen a thread on this recently, but I can't seem to find it.

Thanks, - A.
1 2 3
To my ear, "I'm not a native or a teacher" is better than "I'm not a native nor a teacher." ( I remember reading that the latter is also correct.)

I'm neither a native nor a teacher," or "I'm not a native, nor am I a teacher." - both sentences are definitely correct.
Thanks, Yoong Liat. If you happen across a reference, would you please let me know? The EF threads don't include "not."

Strangely enough, my ear also accepts, "I'm not a native, neither am I a teacher."
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi Avangi

You're welcome. I'll email you the moment I find the source. But before I find it, maybe another member will respond to your query.

All the best.
Hi Avangi,

I'm really glad you commented on my sentence. Emotion: smile
I look up to natives (and you are a native, if I'm not mistaken!) because they "feel" whether a sentence reads fine without having to double-check any grammar books. However, as I said, I'm not a native, so let me quote one of my books.

(From M. Swan, 2005, Practical English Usage, 3rd edition. OUP. para. 370.5 "Two negative ideas: not ... or / not ... nor")
SwanWhen not refers to two or more verbs, nouns, adjectives etc, we usually join them with or.
A series of example with not ... or follows. Afterwards, we can read what I quote below.
SwanHowever, we can use not after a pause, to separate and emphasise a second verb, adjective etc.
Our main need is not food, nor money. It is education. (More emphatic than ... food or money.)
She didn't phone that day, nor the next day. (More emphatic than ... or the next day.)
Note that neither cannot be used in this way.
(emphasis in the original text)

As I said earlier in this post, I trust natives' feelings, so I'd like you to comment on Swan's examples.
Here are some questions I'd like to ask:
  • Are Swan's examples grammatically fine but unnatural?
  • If you have the feeling they are unnatural, could it be a case of BrE versus AmE?
  • If they are natural, what's the problem with my sentence (besides lacking a comma)?
Please notice I'm not defending my sentence stubbornly ... I only want to further my knowledge!
Many thanks!
Hi Tanit, I'm really too tired to sort this out right now, but I'll get back to you.

I can't comment intelligently on the grammar because it doesn't fit any logical construction I'm familiar with. That's sort of why I posted. I was going strictly by ear.

Just roughly, the Swan makes sense with the pause. (Does he distinguish between formal and conversational applications?) The thing about the pause is, conversationally, you begin a sentence, then realize you should have begun differently because you know you want to add a counter-thought which the structure you began will not accomodate. (Is that a mess, or what?)

I'll have to think it through when I'm awake. Thanks a lot for your reply.

Later - A.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi Avangi,

Thanks for taking the time to look at my post. Swan does not distinguish different registers; I've posted all the paragraph which deals with "not ... nor"

I'm looking forward to your next post. Emotion: smile
Hi Avangi

As promised below is what I've found.

He now faces deportation to his native Nigeria after the Court of Appeal ..... I’m not a massive Beatles fan, nor am I a massive Paul McCartney fan – so ...
chocolate-fix.blogspot.com/ - 64k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Best wishes
Hi Yoong Liat,

Thank you kindly for keeping your promise. (I'm still struggling with trying to keep mine to Tanit.)

If you note my original post at the beginning of this thread, you'll find the Beatles construction is one which my ear accepts. What I still find awkward is, "I'm not a massive Beatles fan nor a massive Paul McCartney fan." This would echo Tanit's original, "I'm not a native nor a teacher." His Swann reference was helpful, allowing the "nor" after a pause [comma], but I'm struggling with what the intention might be in this case. I can accept it as a conversational afterthought, or as part of a dialogue or dramatic script. But it bothers me as an example of formal writing.

Thanks again, - A.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more