Both, Either and Neither – Curso de Ingles nivel INTERMEDIO Lección 1

October 21, 2017Curso Intermediate



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LECCION CON AUDIO: Click en el ícono de PLAY en el reproductor


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Both, Either and Neither

In today’s class we are going to take a look at the differences that exist between either and neither. In addition, we are also going to learn how to use “both”. These three words are easily misunderstood and students have trouble using them correctly.

Before talking about each word seperately I would like to show you this image that summarizes the main differences. Analyze the image to understand better the correct use of these three words.

Image #1:



  • Both = the two; that one AND the other one; this one AND that one. (La traduccion seria “Ambos”)

Both can be used as a pronoun to refer to two things that we have already mentioned.

A: Do you want the blue blouse or the red one?
B: I’ll buy both (= the blue shirt AND the red shirt = both shirts)

Both X and Y
= not only X but also Y

  • Both + Adjective + and + Adjective

– He’s both intelligent and handsome.
– I’m both happy and nervous at the same time!
– I have had a long, hard day and I’m both tired and hungry.

  • Both + Noun + and + Noun

Both can be used with a singular noun + and + singular noun

– She speaks both English and Arabic.
– They have both a cat and a dog.
– He is both an actor and a director.

We can also use Both + plural noun (see more below)

– She speaks both languages.


Neither + singular noun

Neither is used as a determiner before a single noun.

  • Neither player wanted to lose.
  • That English class was very interesting. Neither student wanted to leave.
  • Neither parent knew about the accident.


Either + singular noun

Either is used as a determiner before a single noun.

  • Both are on sale but and I’m not interested in either jacket.
  • A: Do you want tea or juice? B: Either drink is fine for me.

Both, neither, either (of) + determiner + plural noun

You can use Both or Both of before a determiner (my, his, these, the etc.) and a plural noun.

Image #2


– I didn’t but either of the books.

– Neither of my parents came to the match.

– Both of his children study at that school.

Both, Either,Neither of + Object Pronoun

When using Neither + of + pronoun (you, us, them), we need the preposition OF before the object pronoun

Image #3


– Paul has two sisters. Both of them are married.

– Sue and I didn’t eat anything. Neither of us were hungry.

– Who are those two people? I don’t know either of them

EXERCISES : The answers are in the AUDIO.

Write BOTH / EITHER / NEITHER. Use OF where necessary.

1) Last year I went to Brazil and Argentina. I liked ________ cities very much.
2) There were two jackets in the store. I didn’t like __________ them.
3) It was a great tennis match. _________ players wanted to win.
4) It wasn’t a great tennis match. _________ team played well.
5) Is your friend English or American? ___________. She’s Australian.
6) We went away for two days, but the weather wasn’t good. It rained ________ days.
7) A: I bought two newspapers. Which one do you want?
B: ________________. It doesn’t matter which one.
8) I invited Donna and Mike to the party but ______________ them came.
9) Do you go to work by car or by bus? _______________. I always walk.
10) Do you work or are you a student? ________________ . I work and I’m a student too.
11) Which jacket do you prefer, this one or that one? I don’t like __________ them.
12) Paula and I didn’t know the time because ___________ us had a watch.
13) Helen has two sisters and a brother. ______________ sisters are married.
14) Helen has two sisters and a brother. I met her brother but I didn’t meet ____________ her sisters.