How to Use Either and Neither (1)

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

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

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.

Reference:

Lawless, Laura K. 2019. Either and Neither. Retrieved from:  https://www.lawlessenglish.com/english-mistakes/either-and-neither/

Compiled and written by @nurulhasanahmoslem for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, May 18, 2019

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