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  1. retro's Avatar
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    #1

    Either, neither; singular, plural

    Hi!

    I was wondering whether a singular or a plural verb is more common in the following sentences? Is either option formal or informal?

    1.
    a. Neither of the players has/have recovered.
    b. Either of them is/are gonna be sidelined.

    2.
    a. Neither Jim nor Susie are/is going to the party tonight.
    b. Either Owen or Shearer are/is gonna take the penalty.

    3. Neither my wife nor my friends" agree(s) with this decision of the government.

    I've heard that in #3 an agreement of proximity is required. What do you think?


    I would appreciate AmE speakers' help but the rules of BrE are very welcome too.

    Thanky you!

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    #2

    Re: Either, neither; singular, plural

    The singular is preferred in formal language. In everyday use, the plural is very common.

  2. retro's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Either, neither; singular, plural

    Thanky you, Tdol!

    Do you think the same rule applies to American usage, or should we wait what AmE speakers will say?

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Either, neither; singular, plural

    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Thanky you, Tdol!

    Do you think the same rule applies to American usage, or should we wait what AmE speakers will say?
    AmE: I agree with Tdol. Singular is prferred, but the plural is common in informal use and in speech.

  4. retro's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Either, neither; singular, plural

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    AmE: I agree with Tdol. Singular is prferred, but the plural is common in informal use and in speech.

    Thanks, Mike!

    I've got another question though:
    Does the same principle apply to "each of", "each one of" and "every one of"?

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Either, neither; singular, plural

    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Thanks, Mike!

    I've got another question though:
    Does the same principle apply to "each of", "each one of" and "every one of"?
    Yes, but I think the preference for a singular "each" is even stronger than with the others.

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