either... or, neither... nor


either... or, neither... nor
Either means "one of two"; neither means "not one of two." Or goes with either, nor with neither: "Either Sarah or I will go, but neither Bill nor Jane will." When used alone, both either and neither take verbs in the singular: "Either is ready to go with you." "Neither is now ready." The use of either... or and neither... nor to coordinate more than two words, phrases, or clauses is considered permissible by some authorities but not by the majority: "Either telephone or write." "Neither Jack nor Jill knows." "He is studying mathematics, chemistry, and physics, but he is proficient in none (preferably not neither)." In either... or and neither... nor constructions, these conjunctions are properly followed by similar parts of speech or similar structures. That is, write "Either he keeps quiet or he leaves the room," not "He either keeps quiet or...."

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • neither... nor — See either... or, neither... nor …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • either ... or vs neither ... nor —   either .. or is a construction we use to show there is a choice between two different things, but you can only choose one, not both.   For example:   You can have either beer or wine.   You can use either ... or to give someone an ultimatum.… …   English dictionary of common mistakes and confusing words

  • either ... or vs neither ... nor —   either .. or is a construction we use to show there is a choice between two different things, but you can only choose one, not both.   For example:   You can have either beer or wine.   You can use either ... or to give someone an ultimatum.… …   English dictionary of common mistakes and confusing words

  • neither nor — not this and not that, not either of the two …   English contemporary dictionary

  • either... or — See either... or, neither... nor …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • neither — [nē′thər, nī′thər] adj., pron. [ME naither, altered (by assoc. with eyther, EITHER) < nauther < OE na hwæther, lit., not whether (see NO1, WHETHER), not either of two] not one or the other (of two); not either [neither boy went; neither of… …   English World dictionary

  • neither — 1. pronunciation. Both pronunciations, niy dhǝ and nee dhǝ, are about equally common. 2. parts of speech. Neither functions in two ways: as an adjective or pronoun, and as an adverb or conjunction. a) adjective and pronoun. Neither means ‘not the …   Modern English usage

  • nor — nor1 [nôr] conj. [ME < ne , not, NO1 + or: see OR1] and not; or not; and not either: Used a) usually as the second in the correlative pair neither... nor, indicating negation of both parts of the statement [ I can neither go nor stay ] b)… …   English World dictionary

  • neither — (conj.) O.E. nawþer, contraction of nahwæþer, lit. not of two, from na no (see NO (Cf. no)) + hwæþer which of two (see WHETHER (Cf. whether)). Spelling altered c.1200 by association with either. Paired with NOR (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Either — Either/or means one or the other. Its usage, versus the simple or structure, is often for emphatic purposes, sometimes intending to emphasize that only one option is possible, or to emphasize that there are only two options. Its use in a sentence …   Wikipedia