The Proper Use of ‘Neither’ and ‘Either’: A GuidePooja Desai
If you are someone who frequently writes or speaks in English, you are likely to have come across the words “neither” and “either.” These two words are used to indicate a choice between two options or to suggest that none of the options presented are suitable. Understanding the proper use of “neither” and “either” is important for effective communication. In this blog, we will discuss the usage of “neither” and “either” in detail by providing you with examples. This will help you master their use in writing and speaking English Language.
Usage of Neither & Either in English Language
- 1. What is ‘Either’?
“Either” is used to present two options or possibilities and is used to indicate that one of two things is true.
For example: Either we go to the beach, or we stay at home.
You can either have the chicken or the fish.
“Either” can be used as an adjective, adverb, pronoun, or conjunction. Here are some examples of how “either” can be used in different parts of speech:
Adjective: Either option is good.
Adverb: You can leave either now or later.
Pronoun: You can choose either.
Conjunction: Either you do your homework, or you can’t watch TV.
- 2. What is ‘Neither’?
“Neither” is used to indicate that none of the options are applicable. It is used when both options are not true. For example:
Neither of the books is interesting.
I will choose neither option.
“Neither” can also be used as an adjective, adverb, pronoun, or conjunction. Here are some examples of how “neither” can be used in different parts of speech:
Adjective: Neither book is interesting.
Adverb: I like neither coffee nor tea.
Pronoun: Neither of them is right.
Conjunction: Neither John nor Mary is coming.
3. How to use ‘either’ & ‘neither’ correctly?
To use “either” and “neither” correctly, you need to keep the following rules in mind:
“Either” is used when you have two options or possibilities. “Neither” is used when both options are not true.
Example: I will choose either the red shirt or the blue shirt. (You have two options to choose from.)
Example: Neither the red shirt nor the blue shirt fits me. (Both options are not suitable.)
“Either” is used with a positive construction, and “neither” is used with a negative construction.
Example: I like either pizza or pasta. (Positive construction)
Example: I don’t like neither pizza nor pasta. (Negative construction)
“Either” and “neither” are often followed by “of.”
Example: Either of the two options is good.
Example: Neither of the options is appealing.
“Either” and “neither” can be used as pronouns, replacing a noun or a noun phrase.
Example: Which book do you want? Either will do.
Example: There are two books, but neither is interesting.
Correct Usage of Either and Neither is important for Effective Communication!
No matter which option you choose, remember that consistent practice is key to improving your English skills. Good luck!