Either vs. Neither: What is the Difference

by Arushi Gupta

The words “either” and “neither” often come into play when discussing choices, options, or agreement. In this blog post, we will explore the definitions of “either” and “neither,” understand when to use each term, and provide examples illustrate their proper usage.

Definition of either and neither

  1. Either: “Either” is a pronoun or a conjunction used to express a choice between two possibilities or options. It suggests that one of the two alternatives is selected, but not both. It indicates a mutually exclusive selection or decision.
  2. Neither: “Neither” is a pronoun or an adjective that refers to not one of two options or elements. It suggests the absence of both options or the rejection of both possibilities. It implies a negative or non-selection.

When to use either vs. neither

To use “either” or “neither” appropriately, consider the following guidelines:


  • Use “either” when presenting two options or choices: “You can either attend the conference or submit a research paper.”
  • It can also be used to indicate agreement or affirmation with a negative statement: “I don’t like coffee, and she doesn’t either.”


  • Use “neither” when referring to the absence of both options or elements: “Neither experiment yielded conclusive results.”
  • It can also be used to express agreement or affirmation with a negative statement: “I can’t attend the meeting, and neither can my colleague.”

Either vs. neither examples

Now, let’s explore some examples to better understand the usage of “either” and “neither”:

  1. “You can either conduct interviews or administer surveys to gather data for your study.”

In this sentence, “either” presents two options for data collection methods, indicating that the researcher can choose one of the two mentioned approaches.

  1. “Neither of the proposed hypotheses were supported by the experimental findings.”

Here, “neither” highlights that none of the proposed hypotheses were substantiated by the experimental results, indicating the absence of support for either of them.

  1. “Either the research team will secure external funding or seek internal grants to support the project.”

This example presents two options for funding sources, suggesting that the research team will select one of the mentioned possibilities.

  1. “Neither the control group nor the experimental group showed significant improvement in the test scores.”

In this sentence, “neither” emphasizes the absence of significant improvement in test scores for both the control and experimental groups.

  1. “The researchers were unsure about either the accuracy of the measurements or the reliability of the instruments used.”

Here, “either” introduces two possibilities, expressing uncertainty about both the accuracy of measurements and the reliability of the instruments.

To wrap it up, remember that “either” presents a choice between two options, while “neither” indicates the absence or rejection of both options.. So, choose wisely between “either” and “neither” to ensure precise and clear communication in your research.

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