Grammar Expert Needed

NathanNathan Member

Hey

Any grammar experts available?

"Neither of you smoke" or "Neither of you smokes" ?

"however” – shouldn’t be used as a substitute for “but” in the middle of a sentence

When you write a report for a couple and you want to address one of them (e.g. you want to say that Jake is 37), then you should use the third person, rather than the second. So, you should write “Jake is 37”, rather than “Jake, you are 37”.

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • edited June 18

    I'm not an expert, but this is what I would do:

    You are both non-smokers

    I do use however as a substitute for but in the middle of a sentence (not as a rule, but I wouldn't think not to use it).

    Jake is 37

  • NathanNathan Member

    Thanks @arongunningham I do not confess to being a wordsmith but in the context of saying

    " You both consider yourselves to be in good health and neither of you smokes." sounds weird to me, I much prefer
    " You both consider yourselves to be in good health and neither of you smoke."

    Personally, I prefer "however" rather than "but", but / however it is not correct.

    In terms of the third person, personally I wouldn't want to read about myself as the third person in a report, the report is about me, not Nathan.

    All just personal opinions and I am just trying to establish what is correct.

  • There may, however, be other reasons that we don't know about.

    ... but there may be other reasons we don't know about.

    Both this sentences could work, couldn't they? I don't know why you can't use however as a replacement for but.

  • RazorRazor Member

    It is 'neither of you smoke'. Smoke is the verb, and as it is second personal plural, there is no 's' added. The s is only added if you are using the third person (he/she).

    P.S. I have found learning another language does wonders for understanding English grammar.

  • NathanNathan Member

    @Razor said:
    It is 'neither of you smoke'. Smoke is the verb, and as it is second personal plural, there is no 's' added. The s is only added if you are using the third person (he/she).

    P.S. I have found learning another language does wonders for understanding English grammar.

    Thank you

  • "Neither of" is followed by a plural noun or pronoun (in your example "you") and a singular or plural verb, which means that both forms are grammatically correct.

    However, a plural verb is more informal, so:

    Neither of my parents **speaks ** ​a foreign language. - FORMAL
    Neither of my parents **speak ** a foreign language. - INFORMAL

    I don't know where the point about "however" in the middle of the sentence comes, but it is correct. When used to link two clauses, it is better to separate the sentences and use "however" as a word linking the two.

    So far, however, little has been achieved. - MIDDLE OF THE SENTENCE (but not used to link clauses). Also, note that it has been separated by commas.

    We made the wrong decision. However, we had no other option. - AT THE START OF THE SENTENCE (but used to link two sentences).

  • richallumrichallum Administrator

    Blimey @Navigator That's an impressive reply.

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • @Nathan / @richallum glad I could help. I learnt English from a textbook, so I see the English language from a different perspective - most of the time, it's a hindrance but, occasionally, it proves useful.

  • benjaminfabibenjaminfabi Moderator
    This is a great post!

    I never use however in the middle of a sentence to separate two clauses. I would use but, or a full stop with however to start the next sentence. I feel like however should be preceded by a semicolon and not a comma. It's probably one of the few occasions where the semicolon is appropriate.

    I've been trying to shorten sentences ever since the report writing howwow.

    Second and third person consistency for a joint report is a pain. I like to use third person throughout but in proofreading I always find the second person sneaking in.
    Benjamin Fabi FPFS
    Chartered Financial Planner

    http://twitter.com/benjaminfabi 
  • JonaJona Member

    But, then we have the issue of "although", "still" and "yet"

  • I never use however in the middle of a sentence to separate two clauses. I would use but, or a full stop with however to start the next sentence. I feel like however should be preceded by a semicolon and not a comma. It's probably one of the few occasions where the semicolon is appropriate.

    I've been trying to shorten sentences ever since the report writing howwow.

    Yes! A semicolon to link two clauses using "however" would work.

    I too try to use shorter, less complex sentences but find that it requires conscious effort.

  • Suse1969Suse1969 Member

    Love this thread. We've just discussed it in the team and we all say written phrases out loud to check they make sense.

  • @Suse1969 said:
    Love this thread. We've just discussed it in the team and we all say written phrases out loud to check they make sense.

    That's a great tip for proof-reading. Also - read the report back to front.

  • Big ChiefBig Chief Administrator

    We asked the Quietroom gang for their input and they shared this.

  • I love this thread too. I'll always remember Joe at the How Wow 'if you do one thing... apart from that other one thing'.

    I have done loads of work on rewriting our content into short sentences etc. Sent adviser a beautiful report and he goes and sticks this 91 worder in! Clearly I haven't spread the message successfully!

    If you would like your children to have the option of inheriting your pension fund as their own on death after 75 (death prior to 75 would give the option of the full pension fund being paid tax free, but after 75 it is taxed at the recipients marginal income tax rate), you should include their names on the nomination form (you can allocate a nominal amount if your wife is to inherit the majority of the fund; for example, 98% to your wife, with 1% to each of your children).

  • richallumrichallum Administrator

    :o

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • benjaminfabibenjaminfabi Moderator
    I feel like there should be a competition for the most ridiculous sentence in a report.

    Maybe not for a public forum though ;)
    Benjamin Fabi FPFS
    Chartered Financial Planner

    http://twitter.com/benjaminfabi 
  • I find that I use the word that far more times than is perhaps necessary when writing reports and find myself deleting nearly all of them on a second read through.

  • NathanNathan Member

    @benjaminfabi said:
    I feel like there should be a competition for the most ridiculous sentence in a report.

    Maybe not for a public forum though ;)

    My favorite is " we have assessed your attitude to investment risk and it is well within your capacity for loss"

    This was a networks template...

  • @Clare_Weight said:
    I love this thread too. I'll always remember Joe at the How Wow 'if you do one thing... apart from that other one thing'.

    I have done loads of work on rewriting our content into short sentences etc. Sent adviser a beautiful report and he goes and sticks this 91 worder in! Clearly I haven't spread the message successfully!

    If you would like your children to have the option of inheriting your pension fund as their own on death after 75 (death prior to 75 would give the option of the full pension fund being paid tax free, but after 75 it is taxed at the recipients marginal income tax rate), you should include their names on the nomination form (you can allocate a nominal amount if your wife is to inherit the majority of the fund; for example, 98% to your wife, with 1% to each of your children).

    That's a cracker Clare!

    I think advisers are often wannabe cricketers when it comes to writing; 50+ words in a sentence is good but you really want to get 100+! :D

  • @StuartBFM said:
    " I find that I use the word that far more times than is perhaps necessary when writing reports and find myself deleting nearly all of them on a second read through."

    i find that I use the word "that" (being the object of the point I ma making)

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