How to use Neither and Either (Interactive QUIZ too!)

 
How to use Neither and Either
 
QUIZ and infographic link 
at the bottom of the page!


In a past post we looked at the phrases me too and me neither and we learned how to use them in natural English conversation. The word either sometimes has a similar meaning to the word neither but they are often confused and used incorrectly. In this lesson, I will explain the difference so you can use these words correctly and with confidence!

*One small grammar mistake in the video. The 2nd image should say “Neither of them has a car.” The correct grammar is in the image below. Thanks to a YouTube subscriber for finding that!


When both words are used as adverbs the meaning is almost exactly the same:

     ↙(Click the words to hear their pronunciation)
neither (adverb) used to show that a negative statement is also true of somebody/something else

“He didn’t remember and neither did I.”

A: “I don’t like spicy food.” 

B: “Me neither.”

either (adverb) used after negative phrases to state that a feeling or situation is similar to one already mentioned

“Pete can’t go and I can’t either.”


A: “I don’t like spicy food.” 
B: “Me either.” 
*For me personally, I prefer using neither in this situation, but either is acceptable in informal North American English.


When both words are used as determiners or pronouns they have different meanings:

neither (determiner, pronoun) not one nor the other of two things or people
Neither answer is correct.” (both answers are wrong)

A: “Which do you like?”
B: “Neither. I think they’re both ugly.” (I don’t like the first choice, I also don’t like the second choice)

neither of them has a car
 


either (determiner, pronoun) one or the other of two; it does not matter which

“You can park on either side of the street.” (it doesn’t matter which side of the street you park on, both sides are OK)

“You can keep one of the photos. Either of them—whichever you like.” (you can choose one of the two photos to keep, it doesn’t matter which one. Each of the two possible choices is OK)

~ each of two
“The offices on either side of the hall were empty.” (the offices on the left side and the right side of the hall were both empty)

 
 

 

Try my EITHER or NEITHER
interactive quiz!
View this infographic full size at:
 
 
 
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