either ... or

Also found in: Legal.

either ... or

1. used in positive statements

You use either and or when you are mentioning two alternatives and you want to show that no other alternatives are possible. You put either in front of the first alternative and or in front of the second one.

Recruits are interviewed by either Mrs Darby or Mr Beaufort.
He must have thought that I was either stupid or rude.
I was expecting you either today or tomorrow.
People either leave or are promoted.
Either she goes or I go.
2. used in negative statements

You use either and or in negative statements when you are emphasizing that a statement refers to both of two things or qualities. For example, instead of saying 'I haven't been to Paris or Rome', you can say 'I haven't been to either Paris or Rome'.

He was not the choice of either Dexter or the team manager.
Dr Li, you're not being either truthful or fair.


() ˈaiθə) , ((especially American) ˈi:ðə(r)) pronoun
the one or the other of two. You may borrow either of these books; I offered him coffee or tea, but he didn't want either.
1. the one or the other (of two things, people etc). He can write with either hand.
2. the one and the other (of two things, people etc); both. at either side of the garden.
1. used for emphasis. If you don't go, I won't either.
2. moreover; besides. I used to sing, and I hadn't a bad voice, either.
either … or
introducing alternatives. Either go to see him or send an apology.
either way
in the one case or the other. Either way he wins.

either … or the verb usually matches the noun or pronoun that comes closest to it: Either John or Mary is to blame / Either John or his brothers are going to the show .

either ... or

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