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Neither and Either
By Vanessa Finaughty

Nor is used with neither, and or is used with either.

For example:

She was neither hot nor cold.
She was either hot or cold.

In the first example above, it’s stated that the person is not hot, but she is not cold either. In the second example, it’s stated that the person is one of the two. So either means is, and neither means isn’t.

The below example is incorrect.

Jane didn’t want to go to the party neither.

The above sentence is clearly intended to state that someone else didn’t want to go to the party, and Jane felt the same way. However, this is a double negative (see the italicised words in the above example), which is grammatically incorrect. Since neither means ‘not one or the other’, the sentence makes no sense:

Jane didn’t want to go to the party not one or the other.

Either means ‘one or the other’ or ‘also’. The correct way of writing this example is:

Jane didn’t want to go to the party either.
Jane also didn’t want to go to the party.

~ Extract from the Editors’ Bible.


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