The difference between Neither and Either

The difference between Neither and Either

Table of Contents

Either means ‘both’, ‘one’ and neither means ‘not either’, ‘none’. Either is used in negative constructions, while neither is used in affirmative constructions.

I’m jobless. What about you? – I don’t have a job. Do you ?

– I don’t have a job either. – I also don’t have a job.

– I don’t like tennis.

Neither do I.

– I have never been to France.

– I haven’t been there either. – I have also never been to France.

or Neither have I.

How to use  Either…Or and Neither…Nor?

Either…Or (‘one or another’) is used in affirmative sentences to offer a choice between two possibilities, or to express a cause-effect relationship:

I can serve you either a coffee, or a glass of vanilla latte. You can choose between coffee and vanilla latte.

Either you tell me everything you know, or I’ll ask your mother. You have two options: you tell me everything you know, or I’ll ask your mother.

Neither…Nor (‘not this one and not that one’) is used in negative constructions:

I have neither the time 

I cannot speak Spanish, and neither can my brother. I cannot speak Spanish and my brother cannot speak Spanish.

Neither one nor the other. Not this one and not the other one.

Neither and Either as Conjunctions

  • He does not drink coffee, and neither does his girlfriend.
  • I will eat either chicken or fish tonight.

Neither and Either as Adjectives

They are used with a singular noun and singular verb.

  • Neither book is interesting.
  • You may borrow either pen.

Neither and Either as a Pronoun

  • Neither of us is interested in politics.
  • You may wear either of the dresses to the party.

We hope this blog helps you understand the difference between the usage of ‘Neither’ and ‘Either’ in the English Language. You can now sign up for our free online class and boost your child’s language and communication skills. Your child will also receive an International Certification at the end of the course.

Let us first try understanding the definition of neither and either.

Either means ‘both’, ‘one’ and neither means ‘not either’, ‘none’. Either is used in negative constructions, while neither is used in affirmative constructions.

I’m jobless. What about you? – I don’t have a job. Do you ?

– I don’t have a job either. – I also don’t have a job.

– I don’t like tennis.

Neither do I.

– I have never been to France.

– I haven’t been there either. – I have also never been to France.

or Neither have I.

How to use  Either…Or and Neither…Nor?

Either…Or (‘one or another’) is used in affirmative sentences to offer a choice between two possibilities, or to express a cause-effect relationship:

I can serve you either a coffee, or a glass of vanilla latte. You can choose between coffee and vanilla latte.

Either you tell me everything you know, or I’ll ask your mother. You have two options: you tell me everything you know, or I’ll ask your mother.

Neither…Nor (‘not this one and not that one’) is used in negative constructions:

I have neither the time 

I cannot speak Spanish, and neither can my brother. I cannot speak Spanish and my brother cannot speak Spanish.

Neither one nor the other. Not this one and not the other one.

Neither and Either as Conjunctions

  • He does not drink coffee, and neither does his girlfriend.
  • I will eat either chicken or fish tonight.

Neither and Either as Adjectives

They are used with a singular noun and singular verb.

  • Neither book is interesting.
  • You may borrow either pen.

Neither and Either as a Pronoun

  • Neither of us is interested in politics.
  • You may wear either of the dresses to the party.

We hope this blog helps you understand the difference between the usage of ‘Neither’ and ‘Either’ in the English Language. You can now sign up for our free online class and boost your child’s language and communication skills. Your child will also receive an International Certification at the end of the course.

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