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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    "Sentences with neither and either"

    Good morning.

    Could someone tell me whether I should use singular or plural forms with sentences containing "neither", "either" and "none"

    For example which of the following sentences is true?

    Neither of the books you are looking for is available.

    OR

    Neither of the books you are looking for are available



    None of the teachers is busy

    OR

    None of the teachers are busy.

    Thank you very much.

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    #2

    Re: "Sentences with neither and either"

    Quote Originally Posted by okaplan View Post
    Good morning.

    Could someone tell me whether I should use singular or plural forms with sentences containing "neither", "either" and "none"

    For example which of the following sentences is true?

    Neither of the books you are looking for is available.

    OR

    Neither of the books you are looking for are available



    None of the teachers is busy

    OR

    None of the teachers are busy.

    Thank you very much.
    Neither of the books ...is available.- correct


    Neither and either are used when you refer to one person, object, etc. of the two; they apply when there are two options:

    two books - neither or either[depends on the sentence]

    Neither of the boys is here.
    Which dress do you like? Either [of the two] will do.

    None means not one or not any. It can be used either with a singular verb or with a plural verb depending on the context.

    None of the boys is here = not one [used with singular verb]
    None of the teachers are available = not any [used with plural verb]
    This is none of your business = not part, not any [with singular verb], or
    None of the milk has gone sour.= not any part [with singular verb]

    Thus,
    None of the teachers are busy - not any

    None of the teachers is busy - not one
    Last edited by Teia; 31-Oct-2007 at 17:54.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #3

    Re: "Sentences with neither and either"

    Thank you for the explanation. I have understood clearly the case about neither and either.

    But I couldn't quite understand the other sentences. Could you please explain a bit more what you mean by "not any" and "not one" ? Is it something related to countable and uncountable nouns.

    Best Regards.

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    #4

    Re: "Sentences with neither and either"

    But ENGLISH GRAMMAR IN USE (published in 1999 by Cambridge University Press) says:

    Each/ Neither/ Either of the books is/ are...

    and it says that the use of is is more formal.

    Maybe the world-known grammatical book is more dependable?

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    #5

    Re: "Sentences with neither and either"

    Quote Originally Posted by okaplan View Post
    Thank you for the explanation. I have understood clearly the case about neither and either.

    But I couldn't quite understand the other sentences. Could you please explain a bit more what you mean by "not any" and "not one" ? Is it something related to countable and uncountable nouns.

    Best Regards.
    Well, I`ll explain this part again:

    None of the boys is here = not one [used with singular verb]
    = No one [ of the boys ] was here.
    None of the teachers are available = not any [used with plural verb]
    =Not many of the teachers are available.
    = Some of the teachers are not available.
    Maybe, it`s not the best explanation, but I hope you`ll understand if I put this way.

    This is none of your business = not part, not any [with singular verb]
    = This is not your business [bussiness is not..uncountable noun]

    None of the milk has gone sour.= not any part [with singular verb]
    = No part of the milk is sour

    Thus,
    None of the teachers are busy - not any one of more [ some of the teachers are not available]

    None of the teachers is busy - not one [ no teacher = not a single teacher] is available


    Does it help you?

    More information here:

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...er-either.html
    Ask the English Teacher: Neither or Either?
    none/neither - WordReference Forums
    none - Definitions from Dictionary.com
    Last edited by Teia; 31-Oct-2007 at 18:30.

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    #6

    Re: "Sentences with neither and either"

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    But ENGLISH GRAMMAR IN USE (published in 1999 by Cambridge University Press) says:

    Each/ Neither/ Either of the books is/ are...

    and it says that the use of is is more formal.

    Maybe the world-known grammatical book is more dependable?

    Indefinite pronouns such as either, one, everyone, everybody and everything are singular :

    Does either of you [two] have a pencil?
    Neither of the [ two]boys has a formal education.

    Indefinite pronoun none may be singular or plural depending on its referents:

    None of the students have passed their exams.

    Note:
    None is singular when it refers to no one of or not a single one:
    None of the girls is married.
    For more information ,click on the above links.

    The use of either and neither with a singular verb is not formal; it is grammatically correct. If you are supposed to take an FCE examination, use either, neither with singular verb. You can use indefinite pronouns several, few, both and many with plural verbs.
    Last edited by Teia; 31-Oct-2007 at 18:29.

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