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Either indicates a choice between two alternatives.

Neithercombines
two negative ideas. Study the following examples of use:

Which of these apples would you prefer? ~ I don't wanteither of


them, thanks.

You can have either the 15 cotton top or the 17 cotton-and-


polyester blouse. You can't have both.

Neither Richard nor Judy could come to the party.

I want neither alcohol nor cigars for my birthday. Now that I'm
fifty I must live a healthier life.

Both either and neither can function


as pronouns,determiners or adverbs.

When they function as pronouns, they are often followed by of


+ noun phrase:

I've known you for two years, but I haven't met either of
your two brothers yet. (OR: I've known you for two years,
but I haven't met either Francis or Damien yet.)

Neither of my two brothers survived the


war. NeitherFrancis, nor Damien.

Which of these fur coats is yours? ~ Neither (of them).


That one's mine.

When they function as adverbs, they behave as linking words


which can be tagged on in agreement at the end of a negative
sentence. But with neither, subject and verb are inverted,
witheither this does not happen:

I can't make the meeting on Tuesday. ~ No, neither can


I (OR: No, nor can I.)

I can't make the meeting on Tuesday. ~ No, I


can't either.

I don't approve of sex before marriage. ~ No, neither do


I. (OR: No, nor do I.)
I don't approve of sex before marriage. ~ No, I
don'teither.

I don't go mountain climbing and I don't go mountain


walking, either. (OR: I don't go mountain climbing
andneither do I go mountain walking.

Too can function as an adding adverb which is placed in


agreement at the end of an affirmative sentence. Compare the
following:

I like peaches and nectarines best. ~ Yeah, I like peaches


and nectarines, too.

I don't like peaches or nectarines. ~ No, I don't like


peaches or nectarines, either.

When either and neither function as determiners, they are


placed before the noun.

On neither side of the road was there anybody to be


seen.

Neither player could raise his game. It was a very boring


game of tennis to watch.

The sisters in the photograph were standing


on either side of their dad. (OR: ...on each side...,
OR: ...on both sides....)

Neither of them is or neither of them are?

I don't think there is a clear answer, Wojciech. Although this of-


pronoun is normally considered singular, it is normally followed
by plural nouns or pronouns. Thus, the boundary between
singular and plural is blurred and effectively it can go with either
a singular or plural verb form. Strictly speaking, it should be
singular, but you will hear both formulations with no clear
preference for one or the other:

Neither of them are coming. They both have to work


next weekend.

Neither of them is coming. They both have to work next


weekend.

Which of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither of them


are. That one's mine.

Which of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither is. That's


mine.

There is similar confusion, I think, when neither...nor are


employed as conjunctions, meaning not one and not the other.
Consider the following:

Neither Francoise nor Helmut likes to eat English


breakfasts, even at weekends.

Neither Franciose nor Helmut like to eat English


breakfasts, even at weekends

Neither Emma nor Susan gets on with Chloe.

Neither Emma nor Susan get on with Chloe.