Either vs. Neither

Difference Between Either and Neither

Either and Neither are two words which must be understood as words with dissimilar meaning and usage. One or the other is generally used as determiner. This means ‘ one or another’s in sentence “Please come on Tuesday or Wednesday.”In this sentence the word is used as a determinant and the meaning of ‘any’.

Either is used as a pronoun, alone or with the preposition of, as in the sentences “I would like to have either” one or the other ‘and’ to any of his brothers visited you? “In both the sentences’ one or the other is used as a pronoun in the first sentence it is used alone and in the second sentence it is used with the preposition ‘of’.

Either at times is used to mean ‘also’ or ‘too’ as in the sentence ‘I can no’ if someone says ‘I cannot climb’. In this sentence the word ‘one or the other is used to mean’ also ‘and gives the sense of the sentence as’ I cannot climb as’.

On the other hand the word ‘neither’ is used before a singular noun when there is no article. You should remember that the verb used is singular whenever any is used. Look at 2 examples:

1. Neither book has the answer.

2. Neither car is expensive.

In the sentences above note that the word ‘no’ is used with a singular noun helped by a verb in the singular form as well.

Neither is often used in combination with, ‘nor’ as in the sentence ‘ Neither Francis nor Phillip was at home when I went’. An interesting thing is that you will sense the nonexistence of both persons, namely, that of Francis Phillip, by the use or followed by, ‘nor’.


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