Posted by: Jack Henry | August 19, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Either/Or, Neither/Nor – Use these examples instead!

My apologies. I don’t usually send out two things in one day, but a handful of people have pointed out a typo and that my examples aren’t very good, so I am sending this with updated examples that will hopefully help you rather than hinder your learning!

· Third, consider these rules for the verbs you use with the either/or and neither/nor pairs:

· When both elements are singular, use a singular verb.

o Either LeBron James or Kobe Bryant was here; I saw a size 16 shoeprint on the doorstep. (LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are singular, so the singular verb “was” is used.)

o Neither Rocky nor Leo knows how to fix a flat tire. (Rocky and Leo are singular, so the singular verb “knows” is used.)

· When one element is plural, use a plural verb.

o Either your father or his friends are going to clean up the beer and peanuts. (Friends is plural, so the verb “are” is used.)

o Neither my brother nor my grandfathers have hair. (Grandfathers is plural, so the verb “have” is used.)

Thanks to eagle-eyed grammarians Mary F., Kathy M., June T., Mark W., Jon H., and James H. for being the fastest to point out my email’s earlier shortcomings. I hope these examples are better. And now, it is the perfect time for this message from Grammarly Cards:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.


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