How to Correctly Use ‘Either’ and ‘Neither’ in English

Use of Either and Neither

Adverbs, adjectives, determiners, pronouns, and conjunctions can all be used with either or neither.

While the word ‘either’ is positive, the word ‘neither’ is negative. Either/or and neither/nor are the most common combinations. These are a few examples of how they’re put to use.

1. As an adverb

When either and neither behave like adverbs, both become linking words.

Example: “I don’t like horror movies.” “Neither do I.”

I don’t like maths.” – “No, I don’t like them either.”

2. As an adjective

Both either and neither can also be used as an adjective

Example: There were houses on either side of the road.

Neither twin was invited to the party. 

3. As a pronoun

When either and neither act as pronouns, either means “one or the other,” while neither means “not one or the other.”

Example: I have brought two dresses. You can wear either.

 Both the pups were pure breed but neither was cute.

4. As a Determiner

Either and neither are used as determiners in some sentences. either indicates a choice between two possibilities. neither allows us to make a negative statement about two things or people simultaneously. 

Example: Either of my parents can come to the party.

Neither of my parents can come to the party.

5. In conjunction

When ‘either‘ and ‘neither‘ are used together with the words ‘or‘ and ‘nor’, they become correlative conjunctions. Either/or are used together to offer a choice between two things. Neither/nor are used together to negate both choices, which means there is no choice.

Example:  You can either play or watch TV. 

Neither the blue one nor the red one is available in size 4.

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