These two questions are from a mobile app:

  1. I didn't pass my driving test.
    correct answer: "Nor did I."
  2. He didn't pass his driving test.
    correct answer: "Neither did I."

Why do we use nor in the first sentence and neither in the second? Is there any exact rule to follow?



  • 3
    What is the name of the app? The answers seems entirely arbitrary; I would reply with Neither in both cases, but I wouldn't consider Nor incorrect in either case.
    – choster
    Apr 10, 2015 at 18:30
  • Here is the app web link englishteststore.net Apr 10, 2015 at 18:31
  • It doesn't seem like an particularly good English test.
    – user28567
    Apr 10, 2015 at 18:40
  • FWIW, I disagree with the answers to the very first questions on the sample basic error recognition tests 002, 003, and 007 (in that there are other uses I would deem incorrect, like missing articles), so I don't know how much faith I would put into this app.
    – choster
    Apr 10, 2015 at 18:40
  • I know, some apps aren't trustworthy enough to count on them. I have a group on face book and I really got mad at this app when a member posted this question. I'm still waiting for a clear cut answer. Apr 10, 2015 at 18:59

3 Answers 3


A: John doesn't smoke
B: Neither do I
C: Nor do I
D: I don't either
E: Me neither

They're all correct, E is "nonstandard English", I wouldn't recommend writing it in a formal paper or in an exam, but it's fine in conversation.

A: John didn't pass the test
B: Neither did I
C: Nor did I
D: I didn't either
E: Me neither

All these answers are perfectly acceptable. We use neither and nor + auxiliary/modal verb + subject to mean ‘also not’:

A: John does nothing all day, he hardly works
B: Neither does Alice
C: Nor does Alice

We can use subject + auxiliary + not + either to mean ‘also not’,

D: Alice doesn't either

But the expressions me too and me neither are only used in very informal speech, and can only be used with first person singular. So ...

E: *Her neither

In this case E is ungrammatical.

To sum up: The app was wrong in marking neither did I as being incorrect. Both Nor did I and Neither did I are acceptable short answers.

Sources: Cambridge Dictionaries Online and BBC learning English
See also this question Is “Neither I you” Correct?

Here's another source: (Collins COBUILD Active English Grammar. HarperCollins, 2003)

"You use 'so,' 'neither,' or 'nor' with an auiliary, modal, or the main verb 'be.' The verb comes before the subject.

You were different then. -- So were you.
I don't normally drink at lunch. -- Neither do I.
I can't do it. -- Nor can I.

You can use 'not either' instead of 'neither,' in which case the verb comes after the subject.

He doesn't understand. -- We don't either

  • Thank you Mari-Lou A for your answer and for your big effort just to give a hand. Apr 11, 2015 at 8:56

I'm gonna have to disagree with the app.

Neither is the negative of either.

Both the questions can be answered:

I didn't pass it either.

Which can be phrased as Neither did I

Nor is the negative of or.

I don't think Nor did I would not be appropriate in either situation, (even though it sounds acceptable because, like neither, it is widely used to introduce a further negative statement).

For nor to be applicable, there should be a corresponding phrasing using or.

Or I didn't pass it doesn't sound like something anyone would reply

Nor would be appropriate in sentences where a negation of or is needed, like.

I didn't pass my cooking test, nor did I pass my driving test.

Alternatively, I didn't pass my cooking test or my driving test.

  • @NizarAl-Arqan: Dude, you can only accept one answer. Not all of them! Pick the one that helped you the most.
    – Tushar Raj
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:48
  • Lol. what if I accept them all? :) a good question to be answered >> Apr 11, 2015 at 9:50
  • @NizarAl-Arqan: The asker gets to accept one answer that works from them best. The accepted answer earns 15 points and the asker gets 2 points for accepting. The accepted answer is shown as the first answer. After that it's shown in decreasing order of votes. Everyone can vote, but only the asker can accept. For more info, read the tour page.
    – Tushar Raj
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:58
  • @NizarAl-Arqan: And the asker can change the answer they accepted if they want.
    – Tushar Raj
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:59

OK, people, let us see how people talk, not apps. Right, people? :-)

So, let's take the bright path leading to Google Books and search there for:


"he did not and neither did I" About 101 results

"he did not and nor did I" 2 results

"he did not and I didn't either" 2 results


Now, after delighting us with stats, let's mention examples for the least fortunate two cases, just to show you they don't look that bad, one of them coming from the British Parliament!.

So, they are not exactly chaff :-)


White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980 - Page 148 Paul Brown - 2008

No, he did not, and nor did I; it was another couple of years before I spotted the key that unlocked the door to AARON's development as a colorist. The breakthrough on color came for me in 1985, and it followed from the realization, so obvious .


Parliamentary Papers: 1850-1908 - Volume 31 - Page 286 Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons - 1894

Just tell us the facts, please, as shortly as you can 'l—-I waited for him to breach the subject, but he did not, and I didn't either, and I went away without having spoken on the subject at all or having met Madame O'Grady.

  • Marius Hancu, your efforts are well appreciated. It's a beneficial web site. I really like it and like the way it works and appreciate all those who are working to let things go the righteous way. Apr 11, 2015 at 8:58

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