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    #1

    either and neither

    Either Jhon or his frinds "is" guilty. or
    Either Jhon or his frinds "are" guilty. Which one is correct?

    Neither Jhon nor his frinds "is" guilty. or
    Neither Jhon nor his frinds "are" guilty. Which one is correct?
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: either and neither

    When in doubt, you can use, if possible, the modal verb will (referring to the present)

    Either Jhon or his friends will be guilty.

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    #3

    Re: either and neither

    You might find this thread useful:

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...ither-nor.html

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: either and neither

    Quote Originally Posted by BookAddict View Post
    When in doubt, you can use, if possible, the modal verb will (referring to the present)

    Either Jhon or his friends will be guilty.
    BookAddict, welcome to Using English.

    Please note that the forum rules require you to identify yourself as not being a teacher (if you are not a teacher).

    While it's true that modals don't require us to think about agreement, your suggestion is not appropriate. You have changed the meaning of the sentence, and, in fact, created a sentence that is not very natural.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: either and neither

    Even people who study grammar disagree on this, as the thread in Verona's link points out.

    This site sets out some nice simple rules that will serve you well: Subject and Verb Agreement | Grammar Rules

    I like her rule that if you have a singular and a plural subject, put the plural subject second and use the plural verb, which satisifes both sides of the argument.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 09-Apr-2011 at 16:56.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: either and neither

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    put the plural subject second and use the plural verb, which satisifes both sides of the argument.
    small typo that could be confusing

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: either and neither

    Thanks, fixed. That will teach me to try to type and talk on the phone at the same time.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: either and neither

    I think the example
    Either John or my friends will be guilty

    is grammatically correct. will be is assumption and refers to the present. Of course when i change something it is never 100% the same.

    either ... or
    = I do not know, I assume it is John or my friends
    will be = I assume he is/they are guilty

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