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Are "noth both" and "neither nor" equivalent?

lsatsuperstarlsatsuperstar Alum Member

Q7 here:

Are "noth both" and "neither nor" equivalent?


  • LindseyDCLindseyDC Core Member
    190 karma

    neither nor = not this and not that, so yes. it essentially means "not both".

  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited January 2020 6839 karma

    Actually, no. Take, for example:

    I don't have both a brother and a sister


    I have neither a brother nor a sister

    The first says you don't have both. You can have just a brother, or just a sister, or maybe even no siblings. You just can't have both a brother and a sister.

    The second specifically states you have 0 brothers and 0 sisters - so the only possibility is no siblings at all.

    There is overlap between the two concepts ("neither"), but they are not identical.

    Put in more formal logic, neither nor is specifically "not A and not B", while "not both" is "not A or not B", which leaves open the possibility of "not A and not B" but does not require it.

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