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Either

Posted by Manjusha; You are here: Home --> Practical English English --> Either

Either means one or the other of two. It is used before a singular noun.

  • There was a chair on either side of the fire-place.

Before a pronoun or a determiner (the, this, my, your etc.) we use either of. The noun or pronoun after either of is plural.

  • I donít like either of them.
  • I donít like either of my grammar teachers.

The verb is usually singular, but it can be plural in an informal style.

  • Is either of them at home? (more formal)
  • Are either of them at home? (more informal)
Object pronouns after either of

We use object pronouns (them, us) after either of.

  • I donít like either of them. (NOT Ö either of they.)

The pronoun referring back to either + noun/pronoun can be singular or plural.

  • If either of the boys comes, tell him/them to wait.
After not

After mentioning a negative idea or fact, we can add another negative point by using not Ö either.

  • I donít like this one, and I donít like that one either. (= I dislike both of them.)
  • Peter isnít here. John isnít here either.
  • I know you donít like me. I donít like you either.
Either Öor

Either Ö or is used to talk about a choice between two alternatives.

  • He must be either mad or drunk.
  • We must either go now or stay till the end.

Note that either introduces the first of two alternatives.

  • I donít speak either German or French.
  • You can have either tea or coffee.

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