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Paula Tovar
What's the difference between either and neither?? Hi italki community! I'm learning english but I can't find the difference between either and neither.... In which cases you use each word? Thaaanks! Have a wonderful day c:
Aug 29, 2018 3:32 PM
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Answers · 3
Hi Paula, The main difference is that "neither" is used for making negative statements while "either" is used to describe a choice or add emphasis to something previously mentioned. Take a look at the following sets of sentences: A) I can't attend the party. Neither can he. // I can't attend the party. He can't either. Both function as linking words to connect the second sentence to the first. Here, "either" means "too" or "as well". Take note that since "neither" already has a negative connotation, we do not write "Neither cannot he". B) There are parking spaces on either side of the road. // Neither of the boys is guilty of vandalism. In B, both words function as pronouns that come before a noun (i.e. side, boys). Here, "neither of the boys" means "not one boy or the other". "either" means "one side or the other". As you can see, "neither" has a negative connotation while "either" has a positive connotation of having a choice between two options. C) Either May or Paul can play. // Neither May nor Paul can play. Here, "either" is paired with "or" while "neither" is paired with "nor". They now function as conjunctions. "Either May or Paul can play" means "May can play BUT Paul cannot play." or "Paul can play BUT May cannot play." (there is a choice between two options) "Neither May nor Paul can play." means "May cannot play AND Paul cannot play." (both choices are out)
August 29, 2018
"Either" means "anyone of the two": I'm not going to call both my parents, I'll call either my mum or my dad. "Neither" means "none of the two": Neither of my parents picked up the phone.
August 29, 2018
Both are Coordinating Conjunctions "Neither" comes with "Nor" an used when you have two negative statements For example, "Neither" my sister "nor" my mother is here . "Either" comes with "Or" , and used when you want to choose over two things For example, I'II take the "either" chemistry "or" physics nest course. I wish that will help you .
August 29, 2018
Paula Tovar
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language
English