The English words either and neither can cause some problems for native and non-native speakers of English. Sometimes you can use either one and sometimes you have to choose either one or the other, but neither one is very difficult. While ‘either’ has a positive connotation, ‘neither’ holds a negative significance. You will always find them paired up this way: either/or and neither/nor.
Either... or is used to offer a choice between two possibilities:
- Either Mike or Lisa will be there.
- Either you leave me alone or I will call the police.
Either can also be followed by some or all of the following: one + of + group of two:
- Either one of us could do it.
- Either one of you should know.
Neither… nor is equivalent to not… either… or.
- Neither Mike nor Lisa will be there.
- He speaks neither English nor French.
- We brought neither coffee nor tea.
Neither can also be followed by some or all of the following: one + of + group of two:
- Neither one of us has any money.
- Neither one of them is ready.
The Bottom Line
Either means one and goes with or, neither means none and goes with nor. “Not either” equals neither.
Lawless, Laura K. 2019. Either and Neither. Retrieved from: https://www.lawlessenglish.com/english-mistakes/either-and-neither/