Nick asked: "Why is "Non, il n'a pas vu Paul ou Sam" incorrect?"

AurélieKwiziq team member

Nick asked: "Why is "Non, il n'a pas vu Paul ou Sam" incorrect?"

Isn't there a subtle difference between "No, he hasn't seen Paul or Sam" vs "No, he has seen neither Paul nor Sam"?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Nick !

I agree that in English you could indeed use either "No, he hasn't seen Paul or Sam" or "No, he has seen neither Paul nor Sam" with very little alteration of meaning, however in French, the correct way to express this idea of "multiple negated elements" is by using "ni...ni...".

I hope that's helpful!

Merci et à bientôt !

DanielA2Kwiziq community member
Shouldn't you change the english sentence into "No, he hasn't seen neither Paul nor Sam"? I made the same "error" answering because I didn't feel I need "ni... ni..." here.

Nick asked: "Why is "Non, il n'a pas vu Paul ou Sam" incorrect?"

Isn't there a subtle difference between "No, he hasn't seen Paul or Sam" vs "No, he has seen neither Paul nor Sam"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Clever stuff underway!