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Both / both of......neither / neither of......either / either of !!

Both / both of......neither / neither of......either / either of !!

Date: Nov 06 2007

Topic: Grammar

Author: alshehri2005


We use both/neither/either for two things. You can use these words with a noun (both books, neither book   etc.).

For example, you are talking about going out to eat this evening. There are two restaurants where you can go. You say:

·        Both restaurants are very good. (not ‘ the both restaurants’).

·        Neither restaurant is expensive.

·        We can go to either restaurant. I don’t mind. ( either=one or the other, it doesn’t matter which one)

  Both of... / neither of…/ either of…

When we use both/neither/either + of, you always need the …/ these/ those…/ my/ yours/ his/ Tom’s…. (etc.). You cannot say ‘both of restaurants’. You have to say ‘both of the restaurants’, ‘both of those restaurants’ etc. :

·        Both of these restaurants are very good.

·        Neither of the restaurants we went to was (or were) expensive.

·        I haven’t been to be either of those restaurants. (= I haven’t been to one or the other)

  You don’t need of after both. So you can say:

·        Both my parents are from London.    or     Both of my parents….

 You can use both of / neither of / either of + us/you/them:

·        (talking to two people) Can either of you speaking Spanish?

·        I asked two people the way to the station but neither of them knew.

 You must say ‘both of’ before us/you/them (of is necessary):

·        Both of us were very tired. (not ‘ Both us were…’)

After neither of... a singular or a plural verb is possible:

·        Neither of the children wants ( or want) to go to bed.

   You can also use both/neither/either alone:

·        I couldn’t decide which of the two shirts to buy. I liked both. ( or I liked both of them. )

·        ‘Is your friend British or American?’     Neither. She’s Australian.’

·        ‘Do you want tea or coffee?’   Either. I don’t mind.’

You can say: Bothand…:

·        Both Sara and Abdullah were late.

·        I was both tired and hungry when I arrived home.

 Neither ….nor…:

·        Neither Ali nor Omer came to the party.

·        She said she would contact me but she neither wrote nor phoned.  


·        I’m not sure where he’s from. He’s either Arabic or Italian.

·        Either you apologies or I’ll never speak to you again.

  Compare either/neither/both (two things) and any/none/all (more than two):

·        There are two good hotels in the town. You can stay at either of them.

·        There are many good hotels in the town. You can stay at any of them.

·        We tried two hotels. Neither of them had any rooms. / Both of them were full.

·        We tried a lot of hotels. None of them had any rooms. / All of them were full.

English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy .............It ‘s so nice !


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