Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #1

    either man is rich

    Hello,

    I've got a really silly question. My book gives the following examples illustrating the usage of 'both', 'either' and 'neither':

    Tom rich. Ben is rich too.
    Both men are rich.
    Either man is rich.
    Neither man is poor.

    I'm a bit uncomfortable with "either man is rich', largely because it sounds odd in my own language, I guess. I'm accustomed to this word being used to imply "no matter which one of the two", but here we have "each of the two", which obviously means "both". So the question is: what's the point in saying 'either man is rich" when the message is "both of them are rich"?

    P.S. The book wants learners to write/say similar sentences about two of their friends, for example: Ivan and Petr are my friends. Both men are engineers. Either is married
    Looking forward to your comments.
    Thank you.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,492
    #2

    Re: either man is rich

    'Either man is rich' is not an idiomatic sentence.

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #3

    Re: either man is rich

    Would omitting the noun and ending up with "either is rich" make sense?


    There's also one more example in the book.
    There are two men in the office. They both have the necessary information.
    Either man has the necessary information. Either has the necessary information

    What do you think about this one?

  1. Hedwig's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Jul 2011
    • Posts: 518
    #4

    Re: either man is rich

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I've got a really silly question.
    Dear Verona,
    There are no silly questions (only silly answers).

    I too would have used both in your example. When I typed either in dictionary.com it returned, among other things, the following usage note. It deals with number and is not what you asked, I know, but what caught my attention was that some of these examples remind me of the one you posted:

    When the pronoun either is the subject and comes immediately before the verb, the verb is singular: Either is good enough. Either grows well in this soil. When either is followed by a prepositional phrase with a plural object, there is a tendency to use a plural verb, but a singular verb is more common: Either of them is (or are ) good enough. Either of the shrubs grows (or grow ) well in this soil.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #5

    Re: either man is rich

    Thanks, Hedwig.
    Your examples seem fine; I just can't puzzle out why my example seems so strange to me.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,889
    #6

    Re: either man is rich

    For me:

    Tom rich. Ben is rich too.
    Both men are rich.
    Neither man is poor.

    Either man is rich. - This doesn't work for me.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #7

    Re: either man is rich

    Thank you. I'm struggling to understand why it doesn't work for anybody exept for the author of the book.

    For example, we can say "I stayed in a hotel" or "I stayed at a hotel". Either answer is fine. --> both of them are fine.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,889
    #8

    Re: either man is rich

    When you say either answer is fine, only one answer would be given/is needed, but in the rich men example you are not talking about one but two- you could say that as they're both rich, either of them could foot the bill.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #9

    Re: either man is rich

    Thank you. So in the light of what you've written, I guess this example is OK providing there is no further context

    There are two men in the office. Either man has the necessary information.

    (--> you can address your question to either of them)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,889
    #10

    Re: either man is rich

    I'd say that both have the information so either could help you.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] He is a skilled man vs he is a skillful man?
    By kwfine in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2009, 04:57
  2. 'guv' = a man OR an important man?
    By thedaffodils in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2009, 20:24
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Mar-2009, 13:46
  4. [Grammar] Man(human) man(male) men (plural) and the definite article...+adverbs
    By Maluues in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2008, 00:09
  5. Suggestions for man to man classes
    By Bien Gruba III in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Aug-2005, 16:49

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
  •