Neither of them is or are?


Neither, which means “not either of two things,” is grammatically singular. In formal writing, use singular verbs like is with neither to indicate “not the one or the other” of two possibilities.

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ExamplesNeither of us has/have a suit.Neither of them knows/know the answer.Neither of them is/are ready.

In informal usage, neither may be treated as singular or plural depending on whether you want khổng lồ negate two possibilities individually or both together.

ExamplesNeither the teacher nor  the students  have the tickets.Neither the students nor  the teacher  has the tickets.
Infographic: Is neither singular or plural?

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When khổng lồ use neither

We use neither khổng lồ mean “not either” và indicate that something is true for “not the one or the other of two things.”

Since neither negates two possibilities, it can be confusing to decide whether this word is singular or plural. In this article, we discuss which is correct: neither is or neither are.

Singular or plural?

Neither is grammatically singular and usually takes singular verbs like is & has. When used as a pronoun to mean “not the one or the other,” it negates each of two things individually.

ExamplesNeither of them is/are a rocket scientist.Neither of us is/are happy about this.Neither of the two rooms you wanted is/are available.

However, neither can be used khổng lồ negate not just each of two possibilities individually, but both together. Thus, in informal communication, neither is sometimes treated as plural, particularly when it is followed by the preposition of, as in constructions like neither of us, neither of them, and neither of the students.

Examples Informal: Neither of us is/are correct. Formal: Neither of us is correct. Informal: Neither of them is/are wrong. Formal: Neither of them is wrong. Informal: Neither of the students knows/know the answer. Formal: Neither of the students knows the answer.

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Infographic: Neither is or neither are?

Most grammatical authorities and style manuals (like the Chicago Manual of Style) recommend treating neither as singular. In formal writing, use “neither is” instead of “neither are.”

When used as a determiner, neither precedes a singular noun & takes a singular verb lượt thích is or has.

ExamplesNeither oto is right for me.Neither applicant has the right skills for the job.Neither student knows the answer.
ExamplesEither of the options is acceptable.Either option is correct.Either of these ties is perfect for him.

Neither-nor is or are?

Neither may also be used as a conjunction, seen most often in the neither-nor structure. When it occurs in a compound subject, the verb should agree with the part closest to lớn it.

ExamplesNeither the dog nor  the cats  have been fed.Neither the cats nor  the dog  has been fed.

Read more in this article on verbs used with compound subjects.

How is neither pronounced?

Neither may be pronounced /NEE-dhər/ (with the long E sound) or /NEYE-dhər/ (with a diphthong, as in eye). Either pronunciation is fine in both formal và casual communication, in both British and American English, though the former is thought khổng lồ be more common in American English: Merriam-Webster lists it as the first pronunciation in its entry on neither.

Similarly, either may be pronounced /EE-dhər/ or /EYE-dhər/, in both British and American English, though the former pronunciation is again more common in the United States.

Using neither: Examples from literature

Here are some examples from literature that show neither being used with singular verbs, as it generally is in writing.

None, which means “not one” & also “not any,” may be considered either singular or plural depending on whether you are referring to lớn one of a group or lớn the entire group.

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Neither is grammatically singular and takes singular verbs: “Neither fits/fit my feet.”

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In informal usage, neither may negate the one or the other, or both of two things. It can then take either a singular or a plural verb (“is” or “are”). Cảnh báo that in formal texts, neither is still considered grammatically singular (“neither is,” not “neither are”).

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In formal usage, neither, which means “not one or the other of two things,” is considered singular và takes singular verbs (like “works” instead of “work”).

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