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English grammar notes - auxiliaries - so / neither


so + auxiliary + subject
neither (or nor) + auxiliary + subject

Speaker 1 (S1)
Speaker 2 (S2)

S1: I'm going to Debbie's party.
S2: So am I.

S1: I don't want to go to the cinema.
S2: Neither (or Nor) do I.


General usage

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We can use so / neither / nor + auxiliary to show that people have something in common (i.e something is the same about them)

This can be in the form of a short answer:

S1: I feel tired.
S2: So do I.

Or in a statement comparing people.

Tim wants to go and so do Simon and Janet.


Nor or neither?

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It doesn't make any difference. They're the same.


Pronunciation of 'neither'

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The first syllable 'nei' can be pronounced in two ways:

'nei' - rhymes with 'eye' This is more common in British English
'nei' - rhymes with 'see' This is more common in American English


How to respond when you do not have something in common

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We only say 'So / Neither / Nor + aux + I' when we have something in common with the first speaker:

S1: I like this cheesecake.
S2: So do I!

However, sometimes we want to make it clear that we are different.

S1: I've never seen a shark before.
S2: Oh, I have. We saw some in the zoo last year.

In this case, S2 has given a short answer with an auxiliary ('I have') and a short explanation.

S1: I don't like this music.
S2: Really? I do. Michael Jackson's one of my favourites.

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