The word "neither" is similar to the word "none"; however, you usually use "neither" when there are two things, two groups, two people, a person and a group, etcetera. There are two acceptable pronunciations for this word:
neither (long e)
neither (long i)
In these sentences, neither is an adjective (Notice that "neither" is placed before a noun in these examples):
- Neither applicant is qualified for the position. (Two people applied. None of them is qualified.)
- Neither store had what I was looking for.
- She likes neither one. (She doesn’t like any of the choices.)
Bob likes neither one of these girls.
In these sentences, "neither" is a pronoun:
- Maria likes neither of the apartments that she looked at today. (This could be from among two choices or a group larger than two.)
- When asked about her choices, she said that neither was acceptable. (The word "neither" is singular when used as a pronoun.)
- Neither of the choices is acceptable. (Not, "Neither of the choices are acceptable.)
- She doesn’t like this one or that one. She likes neither.
The word "neither" is also used as a conjunction with another conjunction, "nor."
- The workers are neither well-paid nor secure in their positions.
- An SUV is neither a car nor a truck. It’s somewhere in between. (It is not a car or a truck.)
- Neither a lender nor a borrower be. (This is a popular quote from Hamlet. Polonius is giving advice to his son, Laertes.)
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December 16, 2015