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Either vs neither

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  • The words either and neither may be used as several different parts of speech. We will look at the meanings of the words either and neither, the difference between them and how to use them. We will also look at some examples of their use in a few sentences.

    Either may be used as an adverb, a pronoun, a determiner or a conjunction. When used as an adverb, either is meant to convey a link with a preceding statement. For instance: You don’t like apples. I don’t either. Also, either may be used as a pronoun like in this example: The dress didn’t flatter either of them. Our third examples demonstrates the use of either as a determiner, which is a word that conveys the importance of a noun in the sentence: Either candidate will do a good job. Finally, the word either may be used as a conjunction when comparing two or more ideas, where only one will come to pass. For instance: I would like to attend either the ballet or the opera. Note that either is paired with the word or.

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    Neither may be used as a pronoun, a determiner or an adverb. When used as a pronoun, neither means not one or the other. An example of neither being used as a pronoun: Neither of them showed up for the interview. Next, neither may be used as a determiner:   Neither kitten wanted to eat. Last of all, neither may be used as an adverb to indicate that two or more ideas, statements or alternatives are incorrect or won’t occur: I am neither a conservative nor a liberal. Note that neither is paired with the word nor. Remember, when using either it is always paired with the word or and not nor, and when using neither it is always paired with the word nor and not or.

    Examples

    Either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is polling, or some rival candidate considers him the man to beat in the 2018 race for governor. (The Atlantic Journal Constitution)

    Triple talaq is neither constitutional nor a Quranic form of divorce (The Hindustan Times)

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