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Both, neither, either


We use both / neither / either to talk about two people or things.

1. BOTH = A and B, TWO people (or things) are equal or do the same thing.

As both refers to two people or things, the verb must be in plural.


The verb must be positive (+).

We both wear glasses.


Both Ann and Tom wear glasses.
Both of them wear glasses.

2. NEITHER = not A and not B are or do something.

Neither can refer to one or two people or things, so the verb can be plural or
singular.
The verb must be positive (+).

Neither the mother nor the daughter has red hair.


Neither of them have red hair.

3. EITHER = A or B. There is a choice.

You can either eat now or alter the show its up to you.
Do you prefer pork or beef? I dont like either.

You dont need of after both / neither / either.

Both my parents work in a school.

But of is necessary before a pronoun (you, us, them).

Both of us like going to the countryside.


Neither of you will go out tonight.

If both of is followed by a noun, the article the is necessary.


Both of the cars
NOT Both of cars

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EXERCISES
Complete the sentences with both/neither/either. Use of where necessary.

1. my parents are from London.


2. To get to the town centre, you can go along the footpath by the river or you can
go along the road. You can go way.
3. I tried twice to phone George, but times he was out.
4. Toms parents are English. His father is Polish and his mother is Italian.
5. I saw an accident this morning. One car drove into the back of another.
Fortunately driver was injured, but cars were badly damaged.
6. Ive got two sisters and a brother. My brother is working, but my sisters
are still at school.

Complete the sentences with both/neither/either + of us/them.

1. I asked two people the way to the station, but could help me.
2. I was invited to two parties last week, but I couldnt go to .
3. There were two windows in the room. It was very warm, so I opened
.
4. Sarah and I play tennis together regularly, but can play very well.
5. I tried two bookshops for the book I wanted, but had it.

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ANSWER KEY
1)

1. Both of 4. Neither of
2. Either 5. Neither / both (of the)
3. Both 6. Both (of)

2)

1. neither of them
2. either of them
3. both of them
4. neither of us
5. neither of them

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