In formal English (legal UK English to be specific), should one use:

"Body A does not give any warranty as to [...] to body B, nor does body B give any such warranty to body C"


"Body A does not give any warranty as to [...], neither does body B give any such warranty to body C"

Unfortunately I do not have the flexibility of redrafting the sentence as a whole, as I would have preferred!

  • 7
    If you really need "legal" UK English, you probably should consult a lawyer. But not/nor and not/neither are well established.
    – Robusto
    Jul 13, 2015 at 11:01
  • Thanks. Don't worry about the legal aspect - I was just emphasising the formality of the context.
    – Jon
    Jul 13, 2015 at 11:18
  • 4
    "Neither" in this case is acting less like a pure conjunction and more like a conjunctive adverb... almost like using "moreover," in which case it would need to be preceded by a semicolon. "Nor" is a pure conjunction and feels more correct with the comma.
    – oakfish56
    Jul 13, 2015 at 13:47
  • @oakfish56 Though what you say needs to be considered, it also needs corroboration. At the moment, it sounds like circular reasoning. Usage, not convenient labelling as this or that POS, is the deciding factor on acceptability. Nov 15, 2016 at 23:06
  • I really hate hearing that these conjunctions have anything to do with British legal English. That is complete bosh. British legal English concerns such terms as Crown Prosecutor versus District Attorney and not correlative conjunctions. The differences are terminological, not grammatical. I can't understand how people come up with these completely misleading , incorrect notions.
    – Lambie
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


'Nor' is the correct choice.

Your sentence (as is) requires negation and a coordinating conjunction. Both 'neither' and 'nor can provide the negation. However, only 'nor' is a coordinating conjunction (but, or, so, and, yet, for, nor are the coordinating conjunctions.) simple explanation of coordinating conjunctions

If you feel attached to the word 'neither', you may say 'and neither' instead of 'nor'. these examples include quite a few sentences with 'and neither', in case you wanted to double-check and get a better feel for its usage.

There can be confusion due to the fact that 'neither' can be used as a conjunction, but it is only a 'correlating conjunction' a simple explanation of correlating conjunctions. In your sentence, both clauses are independent, and therefore require a coordinating conjunction, not a correlating conjunction.


The following is incorrect: "Body A does not give any warranty as to [...], neither does body B give any such warranty to body C"

This is because neither is being used as a conjunction to concatenate an independent sentence with a dependent sentence in that order. Neither is not a conjunction. It is either an adverb or a determiner/pronoun.

The following is correct: "Body A does not give any warranty as to [...] to body B, nor does body B give any such warranty to body C"

Nor is being used as a conjunction in this case. Wikipedia says In grammar, a conjunction [...] is a part of speech that connects words, sentences, phrases, or clauses.

Since conjunctive adverbs were mentioned, I will mention its usage.

Conjunctive adverbs are hardly anything other than adverbs. Note the following example: Johnny shouldn't be acting rudely; however, he had a poor upbringing... In this case, however is a conjunctive adverb; however, it is still being used as a regular adverb.

What it comes down to is the semi-colon. It is separating two sentences, and the second sentence begins with an adverb.

  • 1
    Do you have something to substantiate the claim that nor is a conjunction here? I can think of no good argument that it should be, whereas there are definitely arguments that it is an adverb (viz., conjunctions do not normally cause subject–auxiliary inversion, whereas many adverbs, especially negating ones, do). I would consider both sentences incorrectly punctuated with a comma: both require a semicolon or an actual conjunction. Oct 16, 2016 at 22:59
  • merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nor claims that nor is only a conjunction. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_inversion shows that a negative force can alter the word order and, in some cases, omit conjunctions like if. A Google definition for 'nor' provides the following example: 2. used to introduce a further negative statement. "the struggle did not end, nor was it any less diminished" Oct 16, 2016 at 23:12
  • You'll note that the Wikipedia article clearly states that negative inversion occurs with certain fronted negative elements (specifically certain adjuncts and certain predicate arguments); coordinators are not fronted, and they are conspicuously absent from that page. And dictionaries are notoriously unreliable sources when classifying words. Oct 16, 2016 at 23:24
  • Hmm good point. Honestly, this is way above my head. You're probably right. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Oct 16, 2016 at 23:35
  • But neither is a conjunction. It signals independence or equal weight, unlike nor, which suggests dependency when on it's own. Legalese tends to lean heavily towards the idea of making each statement either strictly independent or clearly dependent. Neither helps with the former, but I'm not sure nor is sufficient to manage the later. "Neither does body A give [...] , nor does body B give [...]" would seem like the normal approach to this.
    – Phil Sweet
    Nov 16, 2016 at 0:01

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