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I was going through some 5th grader's assignment and there was a question which required the synthesis of two sentences.

  1. Mary is not going to attend the party.
  2. Jane is not going to attend the party too.

The questions dictates that the sentence must start with "Neither of...". The answer provided by the teacher was: "Neither of Mary and Jane is going to attend the workshop."

For some reason, this bothers me tremendously. I don't really understand why, but I know I would be less uncomfortable with: "Neither of the girls, Mary and Jane, is going to attend the workshop."

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  • *Jane is not going to attend the party too is ungrammatical. It should be either, not too. Is this an English textbook? Is this an English-speaking country? May 16 at 21:22

2 Answers 2

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You should not forget that "neither" is paired with "nor" rather than "or". I think the rule of thumb is "neither, nor and either, or"

If "neither" must be used in the sentence, I would try:

Neither Mary nor Jane will attend the workshop.

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    That would be my version too. The teacher's version seems very clumsy to me. 'Of' after 'neither' is unnecessary. Aug 18, 2019 at 14:15
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"Neither of Mary and Jane is going to attend the workshop."

Basically your instincts are correct if you use the of then "of the girls" is needed. But to be honest it adds nothing to an already cluttered sentence.

There are three things that bother me about this sentence "Neither" Secondly "of Mary and Jane" and thirdly "is going to attend" Obviously the of should not be there. "is going" should be will Why use the neither format when it is more precise to say "not"

Neither, Mary nor Jane will attend the workshop.

A better sentence would be

Mary and Jane will not attend the workshop

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    I know what some comments will say! That, it is formed this way because it is an example. However if you are teaching you should take the time to find a correct sentence. If you teach a technical subject you cannot use incorrect data just because it is convenient. So why should the "Arts"
    – Brad
    Aug 18, 2019 at 14:03

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