Main Difference – Either vs. Neither
Either and Neither are two words that often pose problems to both native and non-native speakers of English. The main difference between either and neither is that either gives a positive sense while neither is used in a negative sense.
Either – Meaning and Usage
Either is generally used when we are talking about a choice between two possibilities. It can be used as a conjunction, pronoun, adjective and adverb. Either is often used linked with or to indicate available alternatives.
He will drink either coffee or tea.
This phone is available in either mint green or space grey.
Either you leave here, or I will call the police.
It is also used to refer to,
One or the other of two people or things (either + of)
Either one of the candidates would make an excellent president.
They promised each other to sell the house if either of them dies.
Each of two
There were fields on the either side of the road.
The house has a door at either end.
Either is also used to indicate a statement or connect with a statement just made.
He doesn’t speak Spanish; I don’t either.
It won’t do any harm, but won’t really help either.
Neither – Meaning and Usage
Neither is the negative of either. It is often used with nor to (neither…nor)indicate alternatives.
He is neither friendly nor kind.
Neither Mr.Dias nor his wife will be there.
After our separation, he neither called nor wrote.
When neither is followed by of and a noun phrase, it means Not the one nor the other of two people or things
Neither side of the brain is dominant over the other
Neither of us believed him.
Neither is also used to indicate a statement or connect with a statement just made.
I don’t like rice, neither do I.
He didn’t want it and neither did I.
Difference Between Either and Neither
Either means one or the other of two options.
Neither means not the one nor the other of the two options.
Either is used to convey a positive meaning.
Neither is used to convey a negative meaning.
Or / Nor
Either is used with or.
Neither is used with nor.