Either Or And Neither Nor: How to Use them Correctly?

When to use “either or” and “neither nor”. The wordseither,neither,either or, andneither norare used frequently but sometimes incorrectly. You might find it baffling to decide when to useeitherand when to useneitherwhenwritinga thought. Basically,eitherhas a positive connotation, whileneitherimplies a negative statement. Both are used to present choices or alternatives. They may function asadverbs,determiners,pronouns, orconjunctionsin asentence. Typically,eitherandneitherdon’t get paired withor/nor, except when they are used as conjunctions.

This article shall help you distinguish and use the words appropriately by tackling some rules and providing examples according to how they are used in a sentence.

Rules for Using Either Or And Neither Nor

As Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence. When the termseitherandneitherare used as adverbs, they have almost the same exact purpose. And they usually don’t need to be paired withor/nor.Neitheris used to show that a negative statement is also true for another thing or person.Either, on the other hand, is usually used to follow a negative statement from another.

As Determiners/Pronouns

Botheitherandneithercan also be used as determiners or pronouns. Like when they’re used as adverbs, you also don’t have to pair them withor/nor. However, in this case, they have contrasting purposes.Eitheris used to indicate a choice of one or the other between two things or people.Neither, on the other hand, means not one nor the other. In other words, usingneithermeans none of the two, while usingeithermeans any of the two. The object followingeitherorneithershould be singular. If you refer to a plural noun, you have to write it as an of-phrase. However, in either case, the verb is always in its singular form.

As Conjunctions

Theeither-orandneither-norpair function as a conjunction, which joins two nouns or incidents.Either-orconnects two subjects or modifiers that are affirmative alternatives.Neither-norjoins two states that are not possible. When used as conjunctions, the main rule is to always paireitherwithorandneitherwithnor.

Subject-verb agreementfor Either Or and Neither Nor

  • If the two subjects are singular, then you should use the singular form of the verb.
  • If both subjects are plural, then the verb must be plural, too.
  • If one of the choices in the subject is singular while the other is plural, the verb agrees with the nearer subject.

Either Or And Neither Nor Examples

As Adverbs

  • Jasmine doesn’t like her, and I don’t like hereither.
  • Jasmine doesn’t like her, andneitherdo I.
  • I’m not a liar, and you’re noteither.
  • I should not lie, andneithershould you.

As Determiners/Pronouns

  • 我很好,either一块。
  • The test is held ineitherroom.
  • Neitherof the students is listening.
  • Eitherone of your兄弟姐妹is behind this prank.

As Conjunctions

  • Eitherthe manorhis son is present at the hearing.
  • EitherJoanneorher siblings have prepared the surprise for their mother.
  • NeitherBubblesnorButtercup is willing to fight against their friend, Blossom.
  • Neitherthe studentsnorthe teacher is happy with the presentation.
  • It’seitheryou talk to himorI will.
  • His pet isneithera dognor一只猫。

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020

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