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Grammar. Either and neither

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Different uses of "either" and "neither":


•  "Either" means 'both', 'one' and "neither" means 'not either', 'none'. "Either" is used in negative constructions, while "neither" is used in affirmative constructions.

- I'm broke. What about you? - I don't have any money. Do you have any?

- I don't have any money either. - I also don't have any money.

- I don't like cricket.

- Neither do I.

- I have never been to Spain.

- I haven't been there either. - I have also never been to Spain.

or Neither have I.

This guy hates Americans, and he doesn't like French people either. This guy does not like Americans, and he also doesn't like French people.


•  Either...Or and Neither...Nor


•  Either...Or ('one or another') is used in affirmative sentences to offer a choice between two possibilities, or to express a cause-effect relationship:

   I can serve you either a hot chocolate, or a glass of chilled white wine. You can choose between hot chocolate and chilled white wine.

   Either you tell me everything you know, or I'll take you to court. You have two options: you tell me everything you know, or I'll take you to court.

•  Neither...Nor ('not this one and not that one') is used in negative constructions:

   I have neither the time nor the patience to listen to your stories. I do not have the time and I do not have the patience to listen to your stories.

   Neither one nor the other. Not this one and not the other one.

"Either" and "neither" used on their own can also mean 'one or the other', 'whichever of the two' / 'not this one and not the other one', or 'not one of the two':

   There are boats on either side of the river. There are boats on both sides of the river.

   Neither of my daughters is single. Both my (two) daughters are married.

   I can stay, or I can go. Either way, I'll be happy. I can stay, or I can go. I'll be happy whichever option I decide.

Remember: "neither" is conjugated in the singular:

   Neither Kevin nor Philip is gay. Kevin is not gay. Philip is also not gay.

   Neither of us has to go to work tomorrow. I do not have to go to work tomorrow. You also do not have to go to work tomorrow.

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