General English Level 3 V 3
UNIT 04 Money matters TOPIC 03 From rags to riches
LANGUAGE FOCUS 05 Both, either, neither
How to talk about two people or things.
The magazine article about Emily Briggs says:
Emily's parents both worked hard to give the children a good education…
When Emily left school she wanted to be either an actress or a nurse.
She saw people who had neither food nor shelter.

We use both, either and neither to talk about 2 people or things.

We use both to say the same about the two things or people, for example,

Emily's parents both worked hard…(her mother and her father worked hard).

We use either...or to talk about a choice between one or the other, for example,

she wanted to be either an actress or a nurse (only one of them).

We use neither…nor… to talk about none, for example,

neither food nor shelter (no food and no shelter).

After both  we use a plural verb, for example,

Both my children are going to school.
After either and neither we use a singular verb, for example,

Neither of my children likes swimming.

Examples

1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying the examples. Use the Pause button.
My two brothers both work in a cafe.
Emily and her husband Barry both worked in the guesthouse.
Neither Emily nor her sister wanted to be waitresses when they finished school.
By 1985 neither Barry nor Emily wanted to work in the guesthouse any more.
Emily wanted to buy either a dress shop or a bakery.
Barry either wanted to work in an office or to travel.

 

Now go to 06 LANGUAGE FOCUS Both, either, neither - task.

 

© 2002 acl Pty Ltd