Because you either say 'He eats neither chicken nor fish' OR you say 'He does not eat either chicken or fish' The either/or is used when you negate the main verb, but if you don't negate the main verb you have to put the negative in some other way, hence neither/nor. You can say 'He eats either chicken or fish' but that means exactly what it says. But 'He does not eat neither chicken nor fish' smacks of the double negative which works in some languages, but not in English.
Exactly! having the same problem here! I'm getting angry at the computer! LOL
So if non marks the sentence as negative, what happens if we don't have non? And is it then impossible to create double negatives in Italian?
Why is the 'non' here? If the sentence is already saying 'neither' and 'nor' why does 'non' need to be there?
What to English speakers may strike as double negative is actually the way this sort of sentence works in Italian or Spanish. The use of 'non' is essential.
I wrote, "He eats neither fish nor fowl" but was marked down. Come on Duolingo - I thought I was being quite creative ;)
Respect to whomever put that sentence together. I got it right, but I must admit it was a bit of a hit and hope in the end, lol. What's the betting I won't be so lucky next time :D
EDIT: Maybe an English for English speakers would be a good idea :-)
e == and, example/esempio: forchette e cucchiaio // fork and spoon
é == to be, lui/lei/Lei form (singular) of essere, example/esempio: é dolce // it is sweet
You would be using a double negative. The 'does not' is unnecessary for 'neither' is already negative.
i wrote, 'he does not eat neither chicken nor fish' and DL marked it as wrong. Would someone please explain to me why this is wrong?
Hi Maria, I think it's because there is a double negative in your sentence ("doesn't" + "neither...nor"). It should be: "he eats neither chicken nor fish" or "he doesn't eat chicken or fish"
The other option:
"he doesn't eat either chicken or fish"
sounds strange to me. I would tend to use "either... or..." in a positive sentence, although I'm not sure whether this is a rule:
"He eats either chicken or fish"
Double negatives are incorrect in English, even if they are widely used. The 2nd negative, nor, cancels out the first. Think arithmatic.. You are saying it is not two things, not this one or that one.
You are correct that double negatives are incorrect in English. "Neither... nor...", however, is an exception because both words are needed to complete the phrase. It is completely conventional and established English usage and in no way incorrect. You will find it in any grammar book.
I answered exactly the way they intended it and i got a wrong answer. And it was correct to the letter, checked 3 times (it was Type what you hear kind of question). Anyone had the same problem?
He's not eating either chicken or fish. Why is this not correct? In English this means 'he is eating neither chicken nor fish' in fact it's more used!