|EITHER – adverb – Comes after negative phrases to say that a feeling or situation is similar to one already talked about|
|Mike can’t go and Spencer can’t either.|
|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.)|
|NEITHER – adverb – Say that a negative statement is also true for another person/thing|
|Mike didn’t go to school today and neither did Spencer.|
|NEITHER – determiner/pronoun – not one nor the other of two things or people|
|Neither answer is correct. (Both answers are wrong.)|
Definitions from http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/
How to use Either and Neither
We will learn how to use Neither and Either in today’s post.
The word either sometimes has a similar meaning to the word neither but they are often confused and used incorrectly. In this blog post, I will explain the difference so you can use these words correctly and with confidence.
Video, QUIZ and infographic link at the bottom of the page
Either and Neither as adverbs
When both words are used as adverbs the meaning is almost exactly the same:
↙(Click the words to hear their pronunciation)
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.
“Scott didn’t come to the party. Leanne didn’t come either.”
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.”
“I invited everyone from the office to the party, but Scott didn’t come. Neither did Leanne now that I think about it. Maybe they are dating?”
*We can also use neither to talk about a negative situation that applies to 2 people or groups.
“Scott and Leanne said they were coming, but neither of them showed up.”
“The 2 countries are finally talking. It seems like neither country wants to start a war.”
Compare these 2 examples. The meaning is the same but the grammar is different.
Steve couldn’t remember her name. I couldn’t remember it either.
Steve couldn’t remember her name and neither could I.
As determiners or pronouns
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)
Learn more about Fact or Opinion adjectives HERE.
“Doug and Jeff both have their driver’s licenses, but neither of them has a car.”
either (determiner, pronoun) ① 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)
“We need one more chair for dinner tonight. There are two chairs in the garage, either one is fine.”
② 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)
You have to dark suits, either one is fine to wear to the party. (It doesn’t matter which suit, both are okay.)
The problem is neither of my suits is clean and the party is tonight. (Not one of my two black suits is clean.)
Watch the video below to improve your English listening skills and help your pronunciation.
*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 above. Thanks to a YouTube subscriber for finding that!
Try my EITHER or NEITHER interactive quiz!
Click the button below and try the EITHER / NEITHER quiz I made with Google forms: