Neither vs. Both
It is actually very important to know the difference between these two words. We will learn all about them in this lesson.
What Are Their Main Differences?
Verbs That Follow 'Neither' and 'Both'
refers to singular nouns so, it is used only with singular verbs.
refers to two nouns at the same time so, it is used with plural verbs.
The Grammatical Rules of Using Plural or Singular Nouns
is used with a singular noun after 'neither'. In case we want to use a plural noun or a noun that is followed by determiners we should use 'neither of'. Remember, when the noun after 'neither of' is plural you can either use singular or plural verbs, however, using a singular verb is more formal.
We use a plural noun after 'both' or 'both of' however, we use pronouns only after 'both of'.
'Neither' as an Alternative
conveys a negative meaning, which makes it a good alternative for 'both' in negative statements. Although it has a similar meaning to 'both', it can also be different in meaning. So, be careful with its meaning.
conveys an affirmative meaning. And it is used in affirmative sentences.
I am going to assemble a model of
In this example, the noun after both is plural the plural form of 'spacecraft' is also 'spacecraft'.
'Neither' is used before a singular countable noun to define them as a determiner. As a pronoun, it is used alone with no nouns after it and it comes directly before the verb. As an adverb, it is used to agree on a negative statement. 'Neither' as a conjunction is usually followed by nor and is used to connect two clauses.
I didn't pay for the rent
The Verb with 'Neither' and 'Nor'
Whenever 'neither' is used in combination with 'nor' the verb usually agrees with the second noun ( the noun after 'nor'). Look at the examples to be more clarified:
is mostly used as a pronoun and a determiner. As a determiner, it is used before plural countable nouns or in some cases before singular nouns and as you know, it is considered a pronoun that can be used immediately before verbs.
I didn't see the pens,
'Both' with Singular Nouns
Sometimes, a singular noun is used after 'both' but you must link the noun to another singular noun by using the linking word 'and'.
Both the cat
Both my friend
What They Refer to
Both 'neither' and 'both' refer to two options. When using 'neither' we mean none of them or not even one of them. By using 'both' we mean two out of the two.
- 'Neither' means not one not the other.
- 'Both' means two out of two options.
Verbs That Are Used with 'Neither' and 'Both'
'Neither' and 'both' are used with affirmative verbs. However, neither imply a negative meaning as it is a negative marker. While 'both' implies a positive meaning.