Either vs Neither

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What’s the difference between them?

Either

Meaning:

A conjunctive adverb used to introduce a choice between two possibilities.

Examples:

1. You can either take the bus or the train.

2. I'm not sure if I should go to the party or not - I'll either decide tonight or tomorrow morning.

3. Either way, I'm not changing my mind.

Neither

Meaning:

Neither means not either one or the other of two people or things.

Examples:

1. Neither of them knew the answer.

2. Neither party was willing to negotiate.

3. Neither option seemed like the right choice.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Either

1. Either way

2. Whichever

3. Any

4. In either case

5. Both

1. Neither

2. Neither one nor the other

3. Not either

4. Not both

5. Not this, not that

Neither

1. Not either

2. Not at all

3. Not in the least

4. Nary a one

5. Not a single one

1. Either

2. Affirmative

3. Agree

4. Positive

5. On the contrary

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Either", "Neither".

1. Remember that 'either' is used when offering a choice between two possibilities.

2. 'Neither' is used to signify that both options are not viable.

3. Use the mnemonic phrase 'Neither means No.'

4. Practice using both words in sentences so you can become familiar with correct usage.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the 'either' be used?

Either should be used when introducing choices between two possibilities. For example, 'I can either go to the store now or later.' It should not be used when more than two options are being presented.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'neither'?

Neither should be used when stating that none of the two possibilities are true. For example, 'I can neither go to the store now nor later.' It should not be used when more than two options are being presented.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words are pronounced differently. Either is pronounced 'ee-ther' and neither is pronounced 'nee-ther'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake is confusing the two words and using the wrong one. Another mistake is using either or neither when there are more than two options being presented. It is also important to remember to use the appropriate form of the word (either or neither) depending on the context.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I dont like spinach, and I dont like kale, _____.

2. You can have _____ the chocolate cake or the cheesecake for dessert.

3. She speaks _____ French nor Italian.

4. There were two options available, but _____ of them seemed appealing.

5. _____ John nor Sarah was available for the meeting yesterday.

6. If you dont want to go to the beach, we dont have to go to the mountains _____.

1. neither

Explanation: The sentence expresses a negative preference for two things, so neither is appropriate to indicate that both spinach and kale are not liked.

2. either

Explanation: Either is used to indicate a choice between two alternatives. The sentence presents two dessert options, indicating that you can choose one or the other.

3. neither

Explanation: Neither.. nor.. is a correlative conjunction used to indicate two negative situations. In this sentence, it indicates that she speaks neither of the two mentioned languages.

4. neither

Explanation: In this context, neither means not one and not the other of two choices. It implies that both options were not appealing.

5. Neither

Explanation: Neither.. nor.. is used here to indicate that both John and Sarah were not available. Its a way to express a negative situation concerning two subjects.

6. either

Explanation: Either in this context serves to offer an alternative. The sentence implies that if one option (going to the beach) is declined, the other option (going to the mountains) doesnt have to be taken either.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.