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    #1

    both / either

    I've always thought both and either had separate meanings, until I saw these two sentences:

    Monday or Tuesday. Both are convenient to me. Either of them is fine.

    I thought that using "both" meant taking two possibilities together, but this example suggests that "both" has a wider meaning and can be used regardless of picking only one. Agree?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: both / either

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    I've always thought both and either had separate meanings, until I saw these two sentences:

    Monday or Tuesday. Both are convenient to me. Either of them is fine.

    I thought that using "both" meant taking two possibilities together, but this example suggests that "both" has a wider meaning and can be used regardless of picking only one. Agree?
    No, both sentences mean the same. Either of them is fine.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: both / either

    Both (of the two possibilities) are fine. I probably wish to come on only one day (Monday or Tuesday), but, if required, I could come on two days.

    Either (of the two possibilities) is fine. I don't mind which, but I am going to come on only one day.

    In practice, they convey pretty much the same message,

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: both / either

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Either of them is fine.
    Indeed, both are fine.
    Last edited by 5jj; 30-Dec-2011 at 22:23.

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    #5

    Re: both / either

    By a stroke of luck, he's always been able to write with either hand.

    I take the cue from your replies, and ask: would it make sense if I said "with both hands"?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: both / either

    Yes.

    In other contexts, 'with both hands' could mean using the two hands at the same time, but the intended meaning is clear in your sentence.

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