Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Unit 1: One-minute English

Select a unit

  1. 1 One-minute English

Session 9

What’s the difference between ‘both’, ‘neither’ & ‘either’?
In today's video we look at how to use these useful words.

‘Both’, ‘neither’ & ‘either’ मध्ये काय फरक आहे?
हे शब्द कसे वापरायचे ते आजच्या भागात शिकूया.

Session 9 score

0 / 3

  • 0 / 3
    Activity 1

Activity 1

Both, neither, either

What’s the difference between ‘both’, ‘neither’ & ‘either’?
In today's video we look at how to use these useful words.
‘Both’, ‘neither’ & ‘either’ मध्ये काय फरक आहे?
या शब्दांचा वापर कसा करायचा ते आजच्या भागात शिकूया.

Watch the video and read our language summary to answer the questions in the quiz.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Welcome to BBC Learning English! I’m Sam and today we are going to look at ‘both’, ‘either’ & ‘neither’ together.

In all three cases, we are talking about two things – in this case, let’s talk about tea and coffee.

We use ‘both’ to talk about 2/2 things. For example, ‘Both tea and coffee contain caffeine.’

We use ‘neither’ to talk about 0/2 things – ‘Neither tea nor coffee contains alcohol.’

And we use ‘either’ to talk about ½ things. For example, ‘In the morning, I drink either tea or coffee.’ Not both, just one.

Which do you drink in the morning? Either coffee, or tea, or both, or neither?


Meaning/ अर्थ 

दोन गोष्टींबद्दल बोलताना  ‘both’, ‘neither’ or ‘either’ वापरतात.
‘Both’ म्हणजे दोन्हीही. 
‘Neither’ हे both च्या विरुद्ध आहे. कुठलही नाही म्हणजे ‘neither’.
‘Either’ म्हणजे दोन्हीपैकी एक.

When using 2 nouns/दोन नामे वापरताना :

हे दोन्ही शब्द एकत्र वापरताना असे वापरतात :
‘both’ आणि  ‘and’
‘neither’ आणि ‘nor’
‘either’ आणि ‘or’ together.

‘Both’, ‘neither’ or ‘either’ पहिल्या नामाच्या आधी येतात आणि  ‘and’, ‘nor’ किंवा  ‘or’ पहिल्या आणि दुसऱ्या नामाच्या मध्ये येतं. 

Both tea and coffee contain caffeine.
Neither tea nor coffee contains alcohol.
In the morning, I drink either tea or coffee.

When it’s the subject/ हे शब्द कर्ता म्हणून कधी वापरतात ?

कर्त्याबद्दल बोलताना ‘both’, ‘neither’ or ‘either’ वाक्याच्या सुरुवातीला वापरतात.

I love tea and coffee, but both contain caffeine, so I try not to drink them too often.
I don’t like my neighbours. Neither is very friendly.
It doesn't matter if you email me or text me. Either is fine.

When it’s the object/ हे शब्द कर्म म्हणून कधी वापरतात ?

कर्माबद्दल बोलताना ‘both’, ‘neither’ or ‘either’ वाक्याच्या शेवटी वापरतात.

A. Which do you prefer – tea or coffee?
B. I love them both!
B. I like neither! They’re equally disgusting.
B. I can drink either – I don’t have a favourite.

Stand-alone/ एकाच शब्द वापरताना 

आपण कर्माविषयी बोलत असू आणि कशाबद्दल बोलतोय ते आपल्याला माहित असेल तर  ‘both’, ‘neither’ किंवा ‘either’ हे शब्द एकेकटे वापरता येतात.

A. Which would you like – tea or coffee?
B. Both! I’m very thirsty.
B. Neither. Do you have anything else?
B. Either. I don’t mind

Both, neither, either

3 Questions

Fill in the blank with the correct word.
रिकाम्या जागी योग्य शब्द भरा.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y



‘Either’ and ‘neither’ can be pronounced with an /i:/ or an /aɪ/ at the beginning. Both are correct.


You can use these words with countable and uncountable nouns.


When using ‘both’ be careful to use the plural form of the verb, regardless of whether you are using countable or uncountable nouns.
Both cats and dogs have whiskers. (countable)
Both tea and coffee contain caffeine. (uncountable)

When using ‘neither’ or ‘either’ change the verb according to whether the nouns are countable or uncountable, singular or plural.

Interesting facts

08 either India copy.jpg08 neithe rjapan copy.jpg

08 ambidextrous copy.jpg

Conversation Card