Use of Either…….Or and Neither…..Nor
The use of Either….Or and Neither……Nor is often confusing and even sometimes the most experts in English might feel difficulty using them. The reason is that these words or phrases are used in different parts of speech like adjectives, adverbs, pronouns or conjunctions.
- The word either has a positive connotation.
- The word neither has a negative connotation.
- The words must always go together in the order like either….or and neither …..nor
Let’s see the correct use of these words in four different parts of speech along with the relevant grammar rules and example sentences.
|Use of Either…..Or and Neither……Nor as Adjective, Adverb, Pronoun and Conjunction|
|Usage||Either (Either….or)||Neither (Neither….nor)|
|As an Adjective
(used as determiners)
|The house has a door at either end.||Neither statement given by him is true.|
|As an Adverb
(act as connecting words)
|She doesn’t agree, but she doesn’t argue either.||Ricky can’t go, and neither can I.|
|As a Pronoun
(of + noun phrase)
|Either of those books can be offered as a gift to her.||Neither of my suggestions will be accepted.|
|As a conjunction
(used together with the words or and nor)
|You can go there either by tour bus or by taxi.||She could neither wait nor go|
As an Adjective – either and neither are used as determiners
For example: Either – ( either + noun/pronoun)
- You may sit at either end of the table.
- There are trees on either side of the river.
- Personally, I don’t like either car.
- This building has a door at either end
Example: Neither – (not either; not the one or the other)
- Neither answer is correct.
- Neither statement given by him is true.
- Neither teacher finished their lessons, as there wasn’t enough time.
As an Adverb – Here both either and neither act as connecting words.
Example: Either – (the word either modifies the verb and mostly comes at the end)
- She doesn’t agree, but she doesn’t argue either.
- My friend isn’t a liar, but he isn’t exactly honest either.
- She cannot share the secret with you either.
- Ricky can’t go, and neither can I.
- If she doesn’t want it, neither do I.
- I don’t like sweets. Neither does she.
As a Pronoun – After either/neither comes of + noun phrase.
Example: Either – means “one or the other,
- There are no simple answers to either of those questions.
- Does either of you speak English?
- Either of those books can be offered as a gift to her.
Example: Neither – not either; not one or the other.
- Neither is to be selected.
- Neither of my suggestions will be accepted.
- Neither of my classmates is willing to participate in this competition.
As a Conjunction – used together with the words or and nor.
Example: Either …..Or – used together to offer a choice between two things.
- Either I visit or she visits.
- You can go there either by tour bus or by taxi.
- You can either visit me at home or at the office.
Example: Neither …..Nor – used together to negate both parts of the statement.
(Neither means – not either, nor yet; no more)
- She could neither wait nor go.
- His grades were neither good nor bad.
- Neither city bus nor local bus is available by this time.