indicates a choice between two alternatives. Neither combines
two negative ideas. Study the following examples of use:
of these apples would you prefer? ~ I don't want either
of them, thanks.
can have either the £15 cotton top or the £17 cotton-and-polyester
blouse. You can't have both.
Richard nor Judy could come to the party.
want neither alcohol nor cigars for my birthday. Now that
I'm fifty I must live a healthier life.
either and neither can function as pronouns,
determiners or adverbs.
they function as pronouns, they are often followed by of
+ noun phrase:
known you for two years, but I haven't met either of your
two brothers yet. (OR: I've
known you for two years, but I haven't met either Francis
or Damien yet.)
of my two brothers survived the war. Neither Francis, nor
of these fur coats is yours? ~ Neither (of them). That
they function as adverbs, they behave as linking words which
can be tagged on in agreement at the end of a negative sentence. But
with neither, subject and verb are inverted, with either
this does not happen:
can't make the meeting on Tuesday. ~ No, neither can I
(OR: No, nor can I.)
can't make the meeting on Tuesday. ~ No, I can't either.
don't approve of sex before marriage. ~ No, neither do
I. (OR: No, nor do I.)
don't approve of sex before marriage. ~ No, I don't either.
don't go mountain climbing and I don't go mountain walking, either.
(OR: I don't go mountain climbing and neither do I go mountain
can function as an adding adverb which is placed in agreement at
the end of an affirmative sentence. Compare the following:
like peaches and nectarines best. ~ Yeah, I like peaches and nectarines,
don't like peaches or nectarines. ~ No, I don't like peaches or
either and neither function as determiners,
they are placed before the noun.
neither side of the road was there anybody to be seen.
player could raise his game. It was a very boring game of tennis
sisters in the photograph were standing on either side
of their dad. (OR: ...on each side..., OR: ...on both sides....)
of them is
or neither of them are?
think there is a clear answer, Wojciech. Although this of-pronoun
is normally considered singular, it is normally followed by plural
nouns or pronouns. Thus, the boundary between singular and plural
is blurred and effectively it can go with either a singular or plural
verb form. Strictly speaking, it should be singular, but you will
hear both formulations with no clear preference for one or the other:
of them are coming. They both have to work next weekend.
of them is coming. They both have to work next weekend.
of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither of them are. That
of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither is. That's mine.
is similar confusion, I think, when neither...nor are employed
as conjunctions, meaning not one and not the other. Consider
Francoise nor Helmut likes to eat English breakfasts, even at
Franciose nor Helmut like to eat English breakfasts, even at weekends