Determiners: both, either … or, neither … nor


1. We use both to refer to two things, people, or animals together.

  • We can use both + noun

I like both coffee and tea. (I like coffee and I like tea)

Both those women are my friends. (Those two women are my friends)

  • We can use both of + an object pronoun

We both dislike soccer. (subject pronoun + both) or

Both of us dislike soccer. (both + of + object pronoun)

2. We use either …. or … to talk about a choice between two options.

(+) verb + either … or …

Every year I travel either to New York or Paris on Christmas holidays.

3. We use neither … nor … to talk about two things that are not possible.

(-) verb + neither … nor …

Last year I couldn’t go neither to New York nor Paris on New Year due to the pandemics.

4. We can we use either … or …/ neither … or at the beginning of a sentence. In those cases we can use both singular verbs or plural verbs.

  • If both elements that go after either/neither and or/nor are singular, we use a singular verb.

Either my sister or my mom is going to cook dinner for Christmas.

Neither Alicia nor her daughter speaks English.

  • If the element that goes after or/nor is plural, we use a plural verb.

Either my manager or my colleagues are going to help me with the project.

Neither the teacher nor her students are going to go to the school party.

More examples:
Time to practice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: