Distributive Pronouns

Distributive pronouns refer to nouns separately rather than collectively in a group. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

What Are Distributive Pronouns?

What Are Distributive Pronouns?

Distributive pronouns are used instead of nouns or noun phrases to refer to members or individuals in a group separately, not as a whole group.

English Distributive Pronouns

There are three distributive pronouns in English:

  • neither
  • either
  • each

Neither

Neither means 'not one not the other' in a particular group of two. Here are a few examples that may help you learn 'neither' better:

Of course both of them saw the thief but neither would make a statement.

Neither was my favorite, but I chose the yellow one.

How to Use Neither

Neither is a pronouns that implies a negative meaning, thus it is used with an affirmative verb; however, the meaning stays negative. Remember to use a singular verb with neither when it is used as the subject pronoun of the sentence. Check out the examples:

Neither is a qualified cook.

Among these teams, neither wins in my idea.

"neither" as a subject pronoun

Either

Either means 'one or the other' of two things or people. Remember when using 'either', we are not referring to two things at the same time. Here are the examples:

There are two kinds of meat. You can take either.

I have been in China and Japan and I don't like either.

How to Use Either

Either is used with both negative and affirmative verbs with the same meaning, but remember, it is used with singular verbs only when it is used as the subject pronoun of the sentence.

I need a warm bath or hanging out with my friends. Either works for me.

I have never had Gucci or Dolce, but I think either is fine.

Each

Each refers to 'one individual' in a group of two or more. Here are a few examples:

We took a sandwich, each.

I have found two categories, each seems possible.

How to Use Each

Each can be used with either a singular or a plural verb based on the pronoun or noun it refers to. 'Each' can be used with both affirmative and negative verbs.

They each have their own reasons not to talk with each other.

I have had two friends and each wasn't jealous.

Appositive Each

Each can come after pronouns or nouns unnecessarily, just to emphasize the individuals. In this case, usually, when the pronoun or noun is plural the verb stays plural and not singular. Remember, appositives can be omitted from the sentence without changing the meaning. Each is still a pronoun when it is used as an appositive.

They, each, design perfect shoes.

Those animals, each, need sufficient water and food to survive.

Review

Distributive pronouns are used to refer to each individual member of a group of two people or things or more. Here are the distributive pronouns.

  • either
  • neither
  • each

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