English Grammar

What is the difference between Either and Neither/ comparison table

There is widespread confusion regarding the use of neither and either . This is perfectly normal considering that both words could be translated in the first instance as “none, neither, no, nor, etc” . In fact, both words can be used as adverbs, pronouns or determiners. However, there are a number of rules that indicate in which situations to use one or the other. What is the difference between Either and Neither?

Comparison table What is the difference between Either and Neither?

Neither
Either
Translation  Neither could be translated as “neither”. Indicates an agreement between two negative ideas. It is usually accompanied by the preposition nor . Either , on the other hand, involves a choice between two options. It is usually accompanied by the preposition or . Likewise, it can mean “neither” (when used as an adverb).
Usage rule (neither, no, nor, etc.) The English language does not accept double negation  (eg there is no one here). Neither , therefore, is used in sentences with a positive sense.

  • Neither Marco nor Pablo know how to put this together. (Neither Marco nor Pablo know how to put this thing together.)
  • I don’t like Paul’s manners. –Yeah, neither do I.  (I don’t like Paul’s manners.   Yes, neither do I)
Due to the reason mentioned above, either is used in sentences with a negative sense.

  • I you don’t go to Clara’s party, I won’t come either. (If you don’t go to Clara’s party, I wo n’t go too.  
  • I don’t like Paul’s manners. –Yeah, I don’t like them either. (I don’t like Paul’s manners.  Yes, I do n’t like them too. 

It is worth mentioning that this form of “neither” is not used in all countries, not by all people. In fact, this use has lost popularity over the years.

Other uses – senses Neither only has the sense mentioned in the box above. Either can be used to refer to a situation where you have to choose between one thing and another. For example: 

  • You have to choose. Either you keep the red one or the blue one . (You have to choose, or you stick with red or blue.)

What is the difference between Either and Neither?

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