I do not like biology nor do I like chemistry.

"do I like chemistry," being the independent clause doesn't make sense to me on its own.

If my grammar/punctuation in this question is incorrect, please tell me. I'm trying to improve it for a job I have answering emails.

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  • Does it need a comma? I would think that It can take a comma or not, depending on your particular writing style. – Andrew Nov 18 '16 at 19:23
  • Neither/nor is a far better construction if you have editing privileges. I like neither biology nor chemistry. No commas are used with neither/nor constructions unless the sentence is markedly bulky. I like neither the memorization and laboratory work associated with biology, nor the number crunching and homework load so common to chemistry. – Stu W Dec 3 '16 at 0:06

Whenever two independent clauses are separated by a conjunction, it is customary to precede that conjunction with a comma:

  1. I do not like biology, nor do I like chemistry.
  2. I do not like biology, and I also do not like chemistry.
  3. I do not like biology, but I really do like chemistry.

That said, this general guideline is often rescinded for short clauses:

  1. He showed up and I left immediately.
  2. He showed up but I’d already gone.
  3. He went to the store or he stayed home; I don’t know which.
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  • I'm sure this is at least a partial repeat, but I doubt the answer given elsewhere is as pithy, so I'll not bother looking. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 19 '16 at 2:17

"I do not like biology nor do I like chemistry" is completely understandable but that doesn't make it correct. It does need a comma, between "biology" and "nor".

The reason "do I like chemistry" doesn't make sense to you is that it's not an independent clause; it's not any clause, on its own. Others will be better able to explain whether "a clause" would really be simply "I like chemistry" or the whole "nor do I like chemistry" but nevertheless to look at "do I like chemistry" as a clause is to misunderstand the whole thing.

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I do not like biology, nor do I like chemistry.

"Nor do I like chemistry" is a modifying clause to the original sentence, therefore can be separated by use of a comma

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  • 1
    What do you think it modifies? (By the way, I am not the downvoter.) – deadrat Nov 18 '16 at 19:42
  • It modifies the original clause by expanding the range of 'things I do not like' – chrisboote Nov 18 '16 at 20:54
  • 2
    Modification describes, which is to say it restricts, not expands. do I like chemistry is an independent clause, one of two conjoined by nor to form the sentence. – deadrat Nov 18 '16 at 23:19

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