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Either ...or:
It means "this one or that one." This is used in positive sentences. Positive sentences are the sentences that do not have any "not or no or etc."

It means "not this one nor that one." It is used in negative sentences.

When we use Either...or and Neither..nor, we should pay attention to two points:

1- The parallel structure should be used after these words.
For example: Many people drink neither coffee nor alcohol.

Coffe and alcohol are both nouns. We can not use noun in one part of the sentence and adjectives in the other. We should use both nouns or adjectives or verbs in both part of the sentence.

In fact, the original sentence was: Many people don't drink coffe. Many people don't drink alcohol.

So, we connected these two sentences together with the help of Neither...nor.

2-Another point that we should consider while using these is verb and subject agreement.In these sentences, verb should agree with the closest noun. If the noun is single, we use single verb. If not, we use plural verb.

for example: Neither the students nor the teacher knows the answer.

In this sentence, teacher is the closest noun to the verb. It is single so, we use single verb which is knows.

For more practice, I will add some excersices here. You can practice them and if you have any question, please feel free to ask. I will be glad to help.

Here is the practice:
Combine the following sentences into sentences which contain parallel structure:

1-Barbara is fluent in Chinese. She is also fluent in Japanese. (not only..but also)

2-If you want to change your class schedule, you should talk to your teacher, or you should talk to your academic counselor.(either...or)

3-Michael didn't tell his mother about the trouble he had gotten into. He didn't tell his father about the trouble he had gotten into. (neither...nor)

Use appropriate verb form for filling these sentences:

1-Neither Alan nor go skiing this weekend.(want)
2-Either Jack or Alice.............the information you need.(have)
3-Neither my parents nor my brother.........with my decision.(agree)

Good luck,

Tags: agrrement, conjuctions, corelative, either, neither, nor, or, parallel, structure, subject-verb

Views: 1007

Replies to This Discussion

Hi nafis,

Honestly, I rare use words Neither...or Nor. I want to try your third exercise.
Michael didn't tell his mother about the trouble he had gotten into. He didn't tell his father about the trouble he had gotten into
a. Michael tell neither his mother nor his father about the trouble he had gotten into.
b. Neither his mother or his father knows about the trouble Michael had gotten into. (this one I am confused)

Is it true nafis?waiting for your answer
Thanks a bunch
Dear Farid,

So glad that this post was helpful for you. I will explain about either in next post. But if you write your sentence that you have problem with, I can understand about your problem better.
It is very kind of you to call me as a teacher, however, I would rather be your friend. Because in this way, i feel closer to all my friends even though being a teacher is a holistic job. So, I will appreciate you if you call me the friend.

Wishing you well,
Dear Meissa,

You may do not use this rule but whenever you read an article or etc, you may see this structure so, it is a good idea to know about this grammar rule.

Sentence (a) is correct but sentence b is not correct because we always use ((either)) with ((or)) and ((neither)) with ((nor)). In other words, you can not seperate them.

for example: I can drink either coffe or tea.
we can not say : I can drink either coffe nor tea.====Incorrect

Dear Meissa, if you are interested, you can try again. If you have still problem, i will be happy to clarify it.

Have a nice day/night,
Dear Farid,

Either is totally different from ((either...or)) in meaning and in structure. This "either" that you mentioned is used to express agreement.

for example: Goerge says: "I like animals and plants a lot."
Ana says: " Me either."

It means that Ana also likes animals and plants a lot.

Either: it is used in positive sentences and comes at the end of the sentence.

I hope it helps. However, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck,
thanks it was useful . if i have time i read all your blogs.
best wishes
Dear Mojtaba,

So glad that this was helpful. It is very nice of you. It is my pleasure to have you here. Wishing you the best.

Have a wonderfull day/night,


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