My German wife recently came up with this sentence while we were practicing English:
Yes, sorry I'm neither born in the 1900 or read an old Shakespeare, to know any old English word
My natural correction was to say:
I was neither born in the 1900s, nor have I read an old Shakespearian novel, to be able to know any old English words
But this also doesn't feel right to me. In German I guess I could use the structure:
I was neither born in the 1900's, nor have I read an old Shakespearian novel, um any old English words to know
And the closest thing I can think of in English for this purpose, although the literal translation of "um" is "in order to" (which I guess is similar to "to be able to"), is "that" or "so that". But I don't think "so that" is correct, because I feel like this implies a positive case, that they do know some old English words. But using just "that" also feels wrong:
I was neither born in the 1900's, nor have I read an old Shakespearian novel, that I might know any old English words
And now when I read the first sentence again, I can't help but wonder if that was in some ways more Grammatically correct for the rest of the sentence structure? I couldn't find anything on Google to help me sort this out.
So two questions:
- What conjunction do I use at the end of a "neither / nor" list to mean "in order to"?
- How do I correctly say this example sentence?
- Oops, someone pointed out Shakespeare didn't write any novels, so you can replace "novel" with "play"
- I'm curious to know if this can be done while keeping the sentence negative, "I wasn't born in ..." while still being Grammatically correct.