Using "neither" after negative modals

I saw a book in which a sentence was written as follows:

“You shouldn’t either play or relax.”

This just seems off to me. I have never a structure like this before, and I wanted to see what other people thought. I always thought it would be:

“You should neither play nor relax.”

Yes, it’s wrong, and your version is correct. Alternatively, ‘either’ could be omitted. And it’s a stupid sentence anyway.

Well, it’s not gratuitously, egregiously, devastatingly wrong. It’s just a bit off, and some might go so far as to say that it was neither your place nor mine to judge!

If it’s a sin, it seems to be a member of your better class of sins.

Yes, it seems off to me too. But I don’t think it’s grammatically wrong; just unnatural, unidiomatic.

Much better.

Yes, it seems off to me too. But I don’t think it’s grammatically wrong; just unnatural, unidiomatic.

Much better.[/quote]

The whole neither/nor thing sounds archaic to me. I know its right but at the same time I would never knowingly use it unless in very formal writing.

And then there’s the all-time mistake committed by English native speakers – Me neither. :no-no:

Hold on - what? So should we say “Me either”? Or do you mean “Neither do I”?

What about this?
Sally: The dog didn’t bite me.
Bob: Me neither.

Hold on - what? So should we say “Me either”? Or do you mean “Neither do I”?[/quote]

Well, I’d always thought “me either” was the correct way until I saw your post. So I looked it up. And what do you know.

public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/meeither.html

I stand corrected. :blush:

Hold on - what? So should we say “Me either”? Or do you mean “Neither do I”?[/quote]
Well, I’d always thought “me either” was the correct way until I saw your post. So I looked it up. And what do you know.

public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/meeither.html

I stand corrected. :blush:[/quote]
Note that this has been gone into before:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 35&t=98380
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … &p=1155747
I doubt much of a conclusion has ever been reached, however.

Hold on - what? So should we say “Me either”? Or do you mean “Neither do I”?[/quote]
Well, I’d always thought “me either” was the correct way until I saw your post. So I looked it up. And what do you know.

public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/meeither.html

I stand corrected. :blush:[/quote]
Note that this has been gone into before:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 35&t=98380
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … &p=1155747
I doubt much of a conclusion has ever been reached, however.[/quote]

In these kinds of matters, I think it is of little moment whether we form a conclusion. All that matters is that we persevere in our ascent until we finally reach the peak of Mount Chickens***. From that commanding position, victory will be assured, and the learners’ fluency levels will be catapulted into the stratosphere!

What about this?
Sally: The dog didn’t bite me.
Bob: Me neither.[/quote]

His gripe, I think, is that “Me, neither!” isn’t strictly an sentence because it doesn’t have a verb, but in context it’s a sensible ellipsis.

[quote=“Charlie Jack”]If it’s a sin, it seems to be a member of your better class of sins.

Since nobody’s pointed this out, ‘ought not’ is short for ‘ought not to’ and therefore can be followed by ‘either’.

Neither comes from not + either and therefore those too words shouldn’t be placed together. If there’s something breaking it up it’s okay.

‘should not’ can’t be followed by ‘either’ because not+either = neither. There’s no invisible ‘to’ to break it up.

Or at least, this is what the invisible men in my head are telling me. Perhaps someone a bit more learned in linguistics or etymology could chip in.

[quote=“tsukinodeynatsu”][quote=“Charlie Jack”]If it’s a sin, it seems to be a member of your better class of sins.

Since nobody’s pointed this out, ‘ought not’ is short for ‘ought not to’ and therefore can be followed by ‘either’.

Neither comes from not + either and therefore those too words shouldn’t be placed together. If there’s something breaking it up it’s okay.

‘should not’ can’t be followed by ‘either’ because not+either = neither. There’s no invisible ‘to’ to break it up.

Or at least, this is what the invisible men in my head are telling me. Perhaps someone a bit more learned in linguistics or etymology could chip in.[/quote]

We need some clever chap to get onto a corpus and check the numbers. I have a feeling, for example, that the usage of “should not” which “can’t” be followed by “either” may be quite high.

[quote=“tomthorne”][quote=“tsukinodeynatsu”][quote=“Charlie Jack”]If it’s a sin, it seems to be a member of your better class of sins.

Since nobody’s pointed this out, ‘ought not’ is short for ‘ought not to’ and therefore can be followed by ‘either’.

Neither comes from not + either and therefore those too words shouldn’t be placed together. If there’s something breaking it up it’s okay.

‘should not’ can’t be followed by ‘either’ because not+either = neither. There’s no invisible ‘to’ to break it up.

Or at least, this is what the invisible men in my head are telling me. Perhaps someone a bit more learned in linguistics or etymology could chip in.[/quote]

. . . get onto a corpus and check the numbers.[/quote]

I couldn’t find anything in the British National Corpus, and a search in Google Books gets cluttered by constructions such as “should not either jointly or separately,” “should not either directly or indirectly,” and the like. But I persist in thinking good users of English use this sort of construction from time to time.

For example:

[quote]When going anywhere with her husband, she should put on her ornaments, and without his consent she [color=#000080]should not either give or accept [/color]invitations, or attend marriages and sacrifices, or sit in the company of female friends, or visit the temples of the Gods.[/quote]–Vatsyayana, The Kama Sutra, translated from Sanskrit by [color=#000080]Sir Richard Francis Burton[/color] tinyurl.com/Vatsyayana-Burton

Here’s part of what Wikipedia has to say about Sir Richard Francis Burton:

[quote]Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890) was a British geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African languages. [/quote] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Francis_Burton

[quote]Such a transnationalist view [color=#000080]should not either trivialise or detract[/color] from distinctive Irish dynamics and phenomena; on the contrary it should help us to understand just how significant they were.[/quote]–[color=#000080]Edward Madigan and John Horne[/color], “Ireland in the Decade of the Great War, 1912 – 1923: Towards Commemoration,” Monaco, 20 – 22 October 2011, Conference Report tinyurl.com/Madigan-Horne

[quote]Edward Madigan is Resident Historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). He is a graduate of University College Dublin and Trinity College, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 2007. His broad research interests include religious faith and identity in modern Britain, the British and Irish experience and memory of the Great War, and British understandings of battlefield courage and cowardice during the first half of the twentieth century.[/quote]–From the website of Trinity College Dublin, Centre for War Studies tcd.ie/warstudies/members/

[quote]John Horne is Professor of Modern European History, Trinity College Dublin, and was the first Director of the Centre for War Studies, 2008-2010.He is a member of the Executive Board of the Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne. He also serves on the advisory boards of the Mémorial de Verdun and the Liberty Memorial National World War One Museum in Kansas City. He is the author of several books and over seventy chapters and articles, many relating to the history of war.[/quote]–Ibid.

[quote]Even now we must recognise that the Government [color=#000080]must not either do or seem[/color] to do anything which will impair the Press in its free collection of news or in its free expression of views.[/quote]–[color=#000080]Parliamentary Debates:[/color] House of Commons Official Report (1947) tinyurl.com/Parl-Debates

Hey, way to go for presenting English as a modern, dynamic language! It’s neither modern nor dynamic in ANY of your examples.

I apologize for using mostly British English examples, but I thought doing so might reduce the likelihood of raising a collateral controversy.