Either and Neither

Introduction to Either and Neither

In the English language, 'Either' and 'Neither' are two words that facilitate expressiveness and precision. This tutorial is meant to enhance your understanding of how properly to use these two words in your communication. We will delve into their definitions, usages, rules, and examples for better comprehension. So, let's begin.


Definition of Either

Either often refers to any one of the two objects or persons. It is used where there are only two alternatives or options. The word 'either' can function as a pronoun, conjunction, determiner, or adverb in a sentence.

Definition of Neither

Neither, however, is employed to denote that you are negating both of two given choices or options. Like 'either', 'neither' can also be a pronoun, determiner, conjunction, or adverb in a sentence.

Using Either and Neither

Using Either

As mentioned above, 'either' is used when referring to one out of two options. Below you will find different usages of 'either' in sentences:

  • Either as a determiner: You can choose either of the shirts.
  • Either as an adverb: He didn't leave his phone number, either.
  • Either as a conjunction: You can either stay home or go out with us.
  • Either as a pronoun: Either of the options works for me.

Using Neither

'Neither' is used to negative both of two possibilities. Below we have listed the usage of 'neither' in sentences:

  • Neither as a determiner: Neither option is correct.
  • Neither as an adverb: She doesn't like broccoli, and I don't neither.
  • Neither as a conjunction: We can neither confirm nor deny that information.
  • Neither as a pronoun: Neither of them is guilty.


There are two common pronunciations each for both 'either' and 'neither'. Some people pronounce 'either' like 'eye-th-er', and 'neither' like 'knee-th-er'. Meanwhile, others pronounce 'either' as 'ee-th-er' and 'neither' as 'nee-th-er'. Both pronunciations are correct and usage varies based on geographical location and personal preference.

Important Rules for Using Either and Neither

'Either' VS 'Either…or'

'Either' and 'Either…or' are not interchangeable. 'Either' is used when talking about a choice between two items, while 'Either…or' is used to show a possible choice between two or more options.

'Neither' VS 'Neither…nor'

'Neither' is used when you want to say that two or more things are not true. 'Neither…nor', on the other hand, is used to connect two or more negative possibilities.

Common Mistakes While Using Either and Neither

Some common mistakes while using 'Either' and 'Neither' include:

  • Using 'Neither' where 'Either' should be used and vice versa.
  • Using 'Either' or 'Neither' when there are more than two options.
  • Misusing the phrases 'either…or' and 'neither…nor'.


With this comprehensive guide, you should now have a firm understanding of how to properly use 'Either' and 'Neither' in your conversations and written communication. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, start using 'Either' and 'Neither' today and see your language skills improve significantly. Happy learning!

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