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Related to had it both ways: swings both ways, Cuts Both Ways


the two; not only one: both shows were canceled
Not to be confused with:
each – every one of two or more persons or things: take two books each; every one individually: Each one had a different opinion on the matter.; apiece: The tickets are four dollars each.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


One and the other; relating to or being two in conjunction: Both guests have arrived. Both the books are torn. Both her fingers are broken.
The one and the other: Both were candidates. We are both candidates. Both of us are candidates.
Used with and to indicate that each of two things in a coordinated phrase or clause is included: both men and women; an attorney well regarded for both intelligence and honesty.

[Middle English bothe, probably from Old Norse bādhar.]
Usage Note: Both indicates that the action or state denoted by the verb applies individually to each of two entities. Both books weigh more than five pounds, for example, means that each book weighs more than five pounds by itself, not that the two books weighed together come to more than five pounds. Both is inappropriate where the verb does not apply to each of the entities by itself. · In possessive constructions, of both is usually preferred in standard usage: the mothers of both (rather than both their mothers); the fault of both (rather than both their fault or both's fault). · When both is used with and to link parallel elements in a sentence, the words or phrases that follow them should correspond grammatically: in both India and China or both in India and in China (not both in India and China).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a. the two; two considered together: both dogs were dirty.
b. (as pronoun): both are to blame.
(coordinating) used preceding words, phrases, or clauses joined by and, used to emphasize that not just one, but also the other of the joined elements is included: both Ellen and Keith enjoyed the play; both new and exciting.
[C12: from Old Norse bāthir; related to Old High German bēde, Latin ambō, Greek amphō]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. one and the other; two together: I met both sisters.
2. the one as well as the other.
3. alike; equally: I am both ready and willing.
[1125–75; Middle English bothe, bathe]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. used for emphasis

When you link two phrases using and, you can put both in front of the first phrase for emphasis. For example, if you want to emphasize that what you are saying is true of two things or people, you put both in front of the first of two noun phrases.

By that time both Robin and Drew were overseas.
Both she and the baby were completely safe.
They felt both anxiety and joy.
These changes will affect both teachers and students.

Similarly you can put both in front of the first of two adjectives, verb phrases, or adverbials.

Herbs are both beautiful and useful.
These headlines both worried and annoyed him.
She has won prizes both here and abroad.

The phrase after both should be of the same type as the phrase after and. For example, you say 'I told both Richard and George'. Don't say 'I both told Richard and George'.

2. used with one noun phrase

You can put both immediately in front of a single noun phrase when it refers to two people or things. For example, you can say 'Both boys were Hungarian'. You can also say 'Both the boys were Hungarian' or 'Both of the boys were Hungarian'. There is no difference in meaning.

Be Careful!
Don't say 'Both of boys were Hungarian' or 'The both boys were Hungarian'. Also, don't use 'two' after both. Don't say 'Both the two boys were Hungarian'.

You can use either both or both of in front of noun phrases beginning with these, those, or a possessive determiner.

The answer to both these questions is 'yes'.
I've got both of their addresses.

In front of personal pronouns you must use both of, not 'both'.

Are both of you ready?

Don't use 'we' or 'they' after both of. Instead you use us or them.

Both of us went to Balliol College, Oxford.
Both of them arrived late.
3. used after the subject

Both can also be used after the subject of a sentence. For example, instead of saying 'Both my sisters came', you can say 'My sisters both came'.

When there is no auxiliary verb, both goes in front of the verb, unless the verb is be.

They both got into the boat.

If the verb is be, both goes after be.

They were both schoolteachers.

If there is an auxiliary verb, you put both after it.

They have both had a good sleep.

If there is more than one auxiliary verb, you put both after the first one.

They will both be sent to prison.

Both can also come after a personal pronoun that is the direct or indirect object of the verb.

Rishi is coming to see us both next week.
4. negative sentences

You don't usually use 'both' in negative sentences. For example, don't say 'Both his students were not there'. You say 'Neither of his students was there'.

Similarly, don't say 'I didn't see both of them'. You say 'I didn't see either of them'.

See either
5. used as a pronoun

Both can also be a pronoun.

A child should eat either meat or eggs daily, preferably both.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'both' to talk about more than two things or people. Instead you use all.

See all
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.both - (used with count nouns) two considered together; the two; "both girls are pretty"
some - quantifier; used with either mass nouns or plural count nouns to indicate an unspecified number or quantity; "have some milk"; "some roses were still blooming"; "having some friends over"; "some apples"; "some paper"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
كِلاكِلا، كِلْتا
ambosuno y otro
her ikiher iki...deher ikisi deikisi de
cả hai


A. ADJambos/as, los/las dos
both (the) boyslos dos or ambos chicos
B. PRONambos/as mpl/fpl, los/las dos mpl/fpl
both of themlos dos
both of usnosotros dos, los dos
we both wentfuimos los dos
they were both there; both of them were thereestaban allí los dos
C. ADVa la vez
she was both laughing and cryingreía y lloraba a la vez
I find it both impressive and vulgarencuentro que es impresionante y vulgar a la vez
he both plays and singscanta y además toca
both you and I saw itlo vimos tanto tú como yo, lo vimos los dos

Pronoun and adjective
 When both is a pronoun or adjective you can usually translate it using los/las dos:
We're both climbers, Both of us are climbers Los dos somos alpinistas I know both of them, I know them both Los conozco a los dos Both (of the) sisters were blind Las dos hermanas eran ciegas
 Alternatively, in more formal speech, use ambos/ambas:
We both liked it Nos gustó a ambos Both (of the) regions are autonomous Ambas regiones son autónomas
! Don't use the article with ambos.

"both ... and"
 Both ... and can be translated in a variety of ways, depending on what is referred to. If it relates to two individuals, you can usually use the invariable tanto ... como. Alternatively, you can often use los/las dos, though this may involve changing the syntax:
Both Mary and Peter will be very happy here Tanto Mary como Peter van a ser muy felices aquí, Mary y Peter van a ser los dos muy felices aquí Both Mike and Clare could see something was wrong Tanto Mike como Clare veían que algo iba mal
 When talking about two groups or things use tanto ... como or, if both ... and is equivalent to "at one and the same time", use a la vez:
The course is directed at both piano and violin teachers El curso está dirigido a profesores tanto de piano como de violín, El curso está dirigido a la vez a profesores de piano y de violín
 Tanto ... como can also be used with adverbs:
He was a weak man both physically and mentally Era un hombre débil, tanto física como mentalmente
NOTE When adverbs ending in -mente are linked together with a conjunction as here, only the last retains the -mente.
 When both ... and relates to verbs, you can usually use y además:
He both paints and sculpts Pinta y además hace esculturas
 Use a la vez to comment on descriptions which are both true at the same time:
The book is both interesting and depressing El libro es interesante y deprimente a la vez
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


adjles deux
prontous les deux(toutes)
Emma and Jane both went → Emma et Jane y sont allées toutes les deux.
They've both left → Ils sont partis tous les deux.
We both went → Nous y sommes allés tous les deux.
both of
Both of your answers are wrong → Vos réponses sont toutes les deux mauvaises.
Both of them have left → Ils sont partis tous les deux.
Both of us went → Nous y sommes allés tous les deux.
They saw both of us → Ils nous ont vus tous les deux.
He speaks both German and Italian → Il parle allemand et italien., Il parle et l'allemand et l'italien.
Both Maggie and John are against it → Maggie et John sont tous les deux contre.
They sell both the fabric and the finished curtains → Ils vendent à la fois le tissu et les rideaux finis.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adjbeide; both (the) boysbeide Jungen
pronbeide; (two different things) → beides; both of them were there, they were both theresie waren (alle) beide da; two pencils/a pencil and a picture - he took bothzwei Bleistifte/ein Bleistift und ein Bild - er hat beide/beides genommen; both of these answers are wrongbeide Antworten sind falsch; both of you are wrongihr habt (alle) beide unrecht; come in both of youkommt beide herein; I meant both of youich habe euch beide gemeint
adv both … and …sowohl …, als auch …; both you and Iwir beide; John and I both cameJohn und ich sind beide gekommen; she was both laughing and cryingsie lachte und weinte zugleich or gleichzeitig; I’m both pleased and not pleasedich freue mich und auch wieder nicht; is it black or white? — bothist es schwarz oder weiß? — beides; you and me both (inf)wir zwei beide (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. adjtutti/e pl e due, entrambi/e pl, ambedue inv
both books/boys → tutti e due or entrambi or ambedue i libri/ragazzi
2. prontutti/e pl e due, entrambi/e pl, ambedue inv
they were both there, both of them were there → c'erano tutti e due
both of us went, we both went → ci siamo andati tutt'e due
both are to blame → la colpa è di tutti e due
both of us agree → siamo d'accordo tutti e due
come in both of you → entrate tutti e due
she has 2 daughters: both are blonde → ha 2 figlie, bionde entrambe
3. adv John and I both wentci siamo andati sia John che io
both you and I saw it → l'abbiamo visto sia tu che io
both this and that → sia questo che quello
she was both laughing and crying → piangeva e rideva a un tempo or allo stesso tempo
he both plays and sings → oltre a suonare canta
they sell both meat and poultry → vendono sia carne che pollame
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(bouθ) adjective, pronoun
the two; the one and the other. We both went; Both (the) men are dead; The men are both dead; Both are dead.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


كِلا oba begge beide αμφότεροι, και οι δύο ambos molemmat les deux oba, obojica entrambi 両方, 両方の 양쪽, 양쪽의 beide både, begge oba, obaj ambos оба båda เหมือนกัน, ทั้งสอง her iki, her ikisi de cả hai 两者, 双方
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. pron. ambos, ambas
los dos, las dos.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012