Either And Neither



Either And Neither Usage

Both either and neither can be used differently. It depends on the situations.

Either For Agreement

We can use either to agree with someone. We use either to avoid repeating what someone says to us. In this case, the statement must be a negative sentence. Let's see the following examples.

 Someone Says   You Say
 I'm not happy with his performance.  I'm not either.
 I don't like his performance.  I don't either.
 I didn't go to the party last night.  I didn't either.
 I haven't seen her lately.  I haven't either.
 I hadn't had that food before we visited Rome.  I hadn't either.
 I can't speak Russian.  I can't either.
 I won't see her again.  I won't either.
 I was not fat when I was young.  I wasn't either.

Neither For Agreement

We can use neither to agree with someone. We use neither to avoid repeating what someone says to us. In this case, the statement must be a negative sentence. Let's see the following examples.

 Someone Says   You Say
 I'm not happy with his performance. Neither am I.
 I don't like his performance. Neither do I.
 I didn't go to the party last night. Neither did I.
 I haven't seen her lately. Neither have I.
 I hadn't had that food before we visited Rome. Neither had I.
 I can't speak Russian. Neither can I.
 I won't see her again. Neither will I.
 I was not fat when I was young. Neither was I.

Either ...Or To Show Positive Alternatives

We can use either...or  to indicate a choice between two positive alternatives.  Let's see the following examples.

 The Alternatives Without Either  The alternatives With Either 
Your sister can come here tomorrow.
You can come here tomorrow.
 Either your sister or you can come here tomorrow.
You can eat this food.
You can take this food home.
You can either eat or take this food home.
You can read this book. 
You can read that book.
You can read either this book or that book.

Neither ...nor To Show Negative Alternatives

We can use neither ...nor to indicate a choice between two negative alternatives. In this case, you can use a singular or a plural verb.  Let's see the following examples.

 The Alternatives Without Neither  The alternatives With Neither 
Your sister can't come here tomorrow.
You can't come here tomorrow.
 Neither your sister nor you can come here tomorrow.
You can't eat this food.
You can't take this food home.
You can neither eat nor take this food home.
You can't read this book. 
You can't read that book.
You can read neither this book nor that book.
My wife didn't sleep well last night.
I  didn't sleep well last night.
 Neither my wife nor I slept well last night.
John doesn't work.
His wife doesn't work
Neither John nor his wife works.
Neither John nor his wife work.
Mary isn't tall.
Her husband isn't tall.
Neither Mary nor her husband is tall.
Neither Mary nor her husband are tall.
My father hasn't seen me lately.
My mother hasn't seen me lately.
Neither my father nor my mother has seen me lately.
Neither my father nor my mother have seen me lately.

Neither of ... And Either of ....

Neither of ... and either of ... can be followed by us, you, or them. Let's see the following examples.
  1. Neither of you can enter the room.
  2. Can either of us help you ?
  3. You can believe neither of them! They're liars.

Neither And Either Can Stand Alone

We can use neither and either alone. Let's see the following examples.
  1. "Is he an artist or a singer?"  "Neither. He's a lawyer."
  2. "Would you like chicken or beef?" "Either. I don't mind."

Exercise I

In this exercise you have to agree with your friend using the words in the bracket. 
Example    : I don't have a car. ( either )
You write  : I don't either.

 Your Friend Says You Say
  1. I can't drive a car. (either )
  2. I didn't enjoy the film much. (neither)
  3. I've never been to Nice. (neither)
  4. I don't like dancing. (either)
  5. I won't reveal it. ( neither )
  1. ....
  2. ....
  3. ....
  4. ....
  5. .....

 Exercise II

Change the following alternatives using neither ...nor or either ...or!
  1. George will not see me anymore. Jack will not see me anymore.
  2. Jane is coming to you. Or Sally is coming to you.
  3. Brian hasn't come back. Sue hasn't come back.
  4. Brad didn't come here last night. Angel didn't come here last night.
  5. Ben wasn't here. Joe wasn't here.

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