1) Should it be "nor" between drunk and smoked? 2) How about "neither (countable n) nor (uncountable n)"?


Presumably, "drunk" does not apply to "cigarette" or "hookah”, i.e. it's "I have not ((drunk) or (smoked (cigarette or hookah)))". A comma should be used to emphasize this: "I haven't drunk, nor smoked cigarette or hookah". "nor" isn't absolutely necessary, but it helps disambiguate between "I have not (drunk or smoked)" versus "I have (not drunk) or smoked". Between "cigarette" and "hookah", the word "smoked" is clearly being distributed to both, so negating just "smoked" is sufficient, and putting "nor" between "cigarette" and "hookah" is not necessary not make the negation apply to both; that is, the parsing the "I have (not smoked cigarette) or hookah" doesn't make sense, so we don't need to disambiguate between that and the correct parsing.

  • Cigarette cannot be a mass noun, like hookah. You cannot say "I smoke cigarette," the way you can say "I smoke hookah." You need to make it plural: "... nor smoked cigarettes or hookah." Alternatively, you could put an article in, like the OP originally did, and say "... nor smoked a cigarette or hookah." But "... nor smoked cigarette or hookah" makes you sound like you're uneducated and you don't speak English properly. This is not the kind of advice you should be giving people. – Peter Shor Jul 25 '18 at 11:14

First up, hookah is smoked, not drunk. Second, the use of "not" is a double negative to the word neither. This is how it should be written: "Neither have I smoked a cigarette nor a hookah." - This already gets your point of never having done it across.

  • The subject should come before the verb: "I have", not "have I". And "neither" applies to "cigarette" and "hookah", not "smoked". So it should be "I have smoked neither cigarette nor hookah". – Acccumulation Jul 24 '18 at 18:17
  • My bad. I actually meant "Never have I smoked a cigarette or hookah." – glennpRof Jul 24 '18 at 18:58

I think the simplest answer would be:

I have never drank, smoked, nor done hookah.

(The past tense of "drink" is "drank" by the way!)

  • but I wanted to say that I had no such an experience in my whole life. So, present perfect should be used here. – user309810 Jul 24 '18 at 17:51
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    @user309810: This answer uses present perfect. (Even though the alternative past participle drank is used rather than drunk. But the past participle done is used rather than did.) – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 17:59
  • @user309810 The use of "have never" should indicate that you have never had any of those experiences in your whole life, just like you want! – jmrpink Jul 24 '18 at 18:00
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    Peter Shor The correct past participle is "drunk", not "drank". jmrpink even implicitly says they are using the past tense, not past participle: "(The past tense of "drink" is "drank" by the way!)". Perhaps from a descriptivist view, "drank" is an "alternative" past participle, but there is an inherently prescriptivist element to this site. People are coming here to learn standard English, not a linguistic survey of nonstandard dialects. – Acccumulation Jul 24 '18 at 18:22
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    In my opinion, the sentence should be expanded somewhat to read more or less as follows: "I haven't ever drunk an alcoholic drink, nor smoked a cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah." That should cover all the bases, to use an American idiom. There are other possibilities: "Have never" instead of "haven't ever", or "drunk alcohol" instead of "drunk an alcoholic drink", or "smoked tobacco" instead of "smoked a cigarette, etc." – tautophile Jul 24 '18 at 22:10

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