Friday, 28 October 2011

Either...or... + singular or plural verb?


First of all, I'd like to point out that in British pronunciation, both
/ˈaɪðə(r)/ and /ˈiːðə(r)/ are acceptable. The US tend to use the latter version.

Either usually means 'one or the other':

Either you choose me, or her. You can't have both!


The reason why a lot of people have doubts over whether  either...or... carries a singular or plural verb is very simple - both are acceptable! The same goes for neither ...or...


Having said that, however, a singular verb is more common, and is certainly preferred in formal usage.

Which restaurant shall we go to? 
Either Fuji or The Golden Lotus is fine. I like the sushi in Fuji, but I prefer the duck in the Golden Lotus.

Do either of you know how to get there?

Can you believe that neither my father nor my mother drive?

I wasted my journey. Neither James nor Melanie was in.


       

    Or buy from Amazon.com

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