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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #110660: Making a choice: Either...or/ Neither ...nor...
Making a choice: Either...or/ Neither ...nor...
Making a choice in life, isn't always an easy task... but expressing a choice in English is very easy, if you remember a few important points!
The BASIS : EITHER .... OR .... ; NEITHER .... NOR ....
In an affirmative sentence when there is a choice between two or more possibilities:
EITHER + Noun .... OR + Noun ...
+ verbal group + verbal group
- Eat either meat or fish, but eat proteins...
- He can either work, or go out, but he won't disturb the class.
- I eat neither fish, nor meat, and you won't make me do it !
- He will neither work, nor go out, but he'll keep silent !
1) Putting a negation, or not?
- an affirmative sentence (we have just seen it) enables both constructions: either ...or, neither ... nor...
- I can either work now, or after the meal, but I will neither leave my work undone, nor do it tomorrow.
- in a negative sentence , neither ...nor ... cannot be used.
- You won't accept either my solution, or the other one ... We're in a dead end.
2) Singular ou plural ?
If the different alternatives are all in the singular, the verb must be in the singular. If one of the alternatives is in the plural, then, the verb must be in the plural.
- Neither my mother, nor my father wants to pay for my holiday.
- Neither the teacher, nor the students were happy with the chosen solution.
3) What about ... NOT EITHER?
In a negative sentence, if you equally reject two alternatives, you must use NOT ... EITHER.
- I don't eat meat and I don't eat fish either !
Well well! If you take care of these important points, you'll have an excellent test!
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