Both, Either, Neither
Hi English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We will talk about both, either and neither.
These three words have one thing in common. We use them to talk about two people or things.
- Both brothers had brown hair. (Two brothers)
- Either of the runners could win the race. (any of the two runners)
- Love can be neither bought nor sold.
The English teachers at My Lingua Academy are happy to help you improve your English. You can attend our individual and group private lessons to learn English for free with our blog posts where you will find loads of grammar and vocabulary lessons, as well as exercises and quizzes.
We use both with plural nouns when referring to two people or things together.
- Sara held the rope with both hands.
- I wish you both a happy and prosperous life.
- Both their daughters were huge animal lovers.
Both of + object pronoun
When both is part of a subject or object, it is normally followed by of + object pronoun:
- Both of them were excellent swimmers.
- They invited both of us to the party.
We use the correlative conjunction both…and… to join two things of equal importance.
- They grow both wheat and soy on their farm.
- Italy has frontiers with both Switzerland and France.
- Holidays in this resort are both cheap and enjoyable.
We use either with singular countable nouns to talk about two options. Here, either means any of the two.
- You can take either road to get to the village.
- Either raincoat will be alright.
- You can park on either side of the street.
Either is followed by of if it goes before the, these, those or possessives with a plural noun.
- Either of the dictionaries is good.
- You can prove the rule by using either of these methods.
- There is no simple answer to either of your questions.
We can use either…or… to connect two options:
- People working in the factory were either divorced or separated from their partners.
- She is the kind of person you either love or hate.
- Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. (Helen Keller)
We use neither with singular countable nouns to make a negative statement about two things or people.
- Neither suit fitted him.
- If you watch two things at the same time, you will see neither.
- Monica didn’t like horror films, and neither did her husband.
We use correlative conjunction neither..nor… to connect two negative options.
- Neither Nate nor Martin could ride a bicycle.
- Mark could speak neither Japanese nor Chinese.
- Sandra was neither surprised nor confused when she heard the news.
Neither of + object can be used with both singular and plural verbs:
- Neither of my sisters has (have) blond hair.
- Neither of us enjoy (enjoys) swimming.
If you really want to learn English, book an online English lesson with one of our certified and experienced English teachers We are going to make sure that you have a good run for the money you are investing in your linguistic education. Waste no time and take a trial test for only 1 euro.