Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 88
    #1

    Exclamation neither vs either ~ not

    Hello there.

    Neither of my parents are coming.
    Either of my parents are not coming.

    Are these sentences equivalent?

    Please help me!


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #2

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Neither of my parents are coming.
    Either of my parents are not coming.

    Are these sentences equivalent?

    Please help me!
    Just use "neither" to indicate a negative of this sort.

    If you use "either", then this means one of them, but not the other, is coming - most likely.

    Either of my parents are coming.
    Either of my parents will come.
    Either of my parents can come.

    I would recommend not using "either" in this way. It's not typical language. It sounds a bit odd or strange.

    Someone's bound to bring it up, so here it is:

    When followed by of and a plural noun, either is often used with a plural verb: Either of the parties have enough support to form a government.

    either: Definition from Answers.com


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #3

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Neither of my parents are coming.
    Either of my parents are not coming.

    Are these sentences equivalent?

    Please help me!
    I don 't think the sentences are equivalent.

    The first one says that your mother will not be present -- and that your father will not be present either.
    It is the same as saying "Both of my parents will be absent."

    I don't think the second sentence has any meaning at all.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #4

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Someone's bound to bring it up, so here it is:

    When followed by of and a plural noun, either is often used with a plural verb: Either of the parties have enough support to form a government.

    either: Definition from Answers.com
    I'm aware of this "rule," but in practice I say "Neither of my parents is coming." What do you say?
    ---------------------------------------

    I also thought that the sentence, "Both of my parents are not coming" was so bad that I deleted it from my response.

    Does it violate a rule, or is it just that I didn't care for the way it sounded -- using "both" with the negative like that.


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 422
    #5

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I'm aware of this "rule," but in practice I say "Neither of my parents is coming." What do you say?
    ---------------------------------------

    I also thought that the sentence, "Both of my parents are not coming" was so bad that I deleted it from my response.

    Does it violate a rule, or is it just that I didn't care for the way it sounded -- using "both" with the negative like that.
    "Both of my parents are not coming" could be used as a strong denial of a previous statement.

    A: Both of her parents are coming.

    B: Nooooo, both of my parents are not coming.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I'm aware of this "rule," but in practice I say "Neither of my parents is coming." What do you say?
    ---------------------------------------

    I also thought that the sentence, "Both of my parents are not coming" was so bad that I deleted it from my response.

    Does it violate a rule, or is it just that I didn't care for the way it sounded -- using "both" with the negative like that.
    I would say "are" in this case, probably. I turn off the automatic prescriptive grammar check when I speak.

    The "traditional way", if it is in fact traditional, is to use "either" as a singular. However, when it is preceded by a plural noun, there's a strong tendency to use a plural verb.


    I also thought that the sentence, "Both of my parents are not coming" was so bad that I deleted it from my response.
    It doesn't violate a rule, but I could guess that maybe it's more common to start the sentence, or this type of thought, with "neither". In this way, the one with "both" might not have sounded as familiar. As well, using "both" is redundant, come to think of it. Both of your parents are not coming? And what about the third one? That's just being funny, of course, but it is, technically, redundant. So this would probably sound better: My parents aren't coming. (no need to use "both" - we know you have two parents)



    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #7

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    "Both of my parents are not coming" could be used as a strong denial of a previous statement.

    A: Both of her parents are coming.

    B: Nooooo, both of my parents are not coming.

    HA! Excellent point!

    I am amazed when I become conscious of the flexibility of language, and how we just automatically make it do all kinds of innovative tricks and express all kinds of subtle meanings -- without even THINKING about it.

    I don't know anything else we do so fluently and so unconsciously -- walking down a bumpy road maybe? But even then, we would be aware of the nuisance of needing to constantly skip around puddles and sidestep sharp stones.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #8

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    "Both of my parents are not coming" could be used as a strong denial of a previous statement.

    A: Both of her parents are coming.

    B: Nooooo, both of my parents are not coming.
    That's what I thought. Neither of her parents are coming.



    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #9

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post

    It doesn't violate a rule, but I could guess that maybe it's more common to start the sentence, or this type of thought, with "neither". In this way, the one with "both" might not have sounded as familiar. As well, using "both" is redundant, come to think of it. Both of your parents are not coming? And what about the third one? That's just being funny, of course, but it is, technically, redundant. So this would probably sound better: My parents aren't coming. (no need to use "both" - we know you have two parents)

    LOL! Good point!

    When I started to write "Both of them aren't," I was reminded of what one of my friends said. His car had been stolen, and he told me, "When I looked out the window, there it wasn't."


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #10

    Re: neither vs either ~ not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    LOL! Good point!

    When I started to write "Both of them aren't," I was reminded of what one of my friends said. His car had been stolen, and he told me, "When I looked out the window, there it wasn't."
    It kind of sounds poetic in a way. It's just like saying "it wasn't there". That's unique in a way: there it was, and there is wasn't.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •