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both/either Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 1:20:00 PM

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Which one is correct?
The match was really great. Both teams played well.
The match was really great. Either team played well.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 3:24:19 PM

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only 1, but remember both = 2. Both teams, plural.

"either" is not what you use in that situation or the previous one. Both, one of, or neither. But not 'either' in this situation.


2 of 2 = both

0 of 2 = neither

1 of 2 = one of them


A or B of the 2 = either

Both teams played well, so it was a great match to watch.
A and B
both A and B
plural (2)


If either team had played well, this might have been an enjoyable match to watch.
A or B , but you don't specify which one, as it is hypothetical
either A or B
singular (1)


But since neither team played well, it was terrible.
not A and not B
neither A nor B
singular (0)
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 3:37:03 PM

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thar wrote:

2 of 2 = both
0 of 2 = neither
1 of 2 = one of them
A or B of the 2 = either

This is useful. But I have some reservations regarding "A or B of the 2 = either"

It sounds as if you mean that EITHER is ONE OF THEM. I think either is more complicated.

There was a chair on either side of the fire-place. = There was a chair on each side of the fire-place. So, either can mean each.

Either team played well. = Each team played well.

Does it hold water?
Audiendus
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 9:37:20 PM
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"On either side", meaning on each side, is an idiom. "Either" is not normally used to mean each/both, except with "side" and synonyms such as "hand" or "flank".
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:33:50 PM

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Well, here is another case without the words "side, hand, flank"

He showed us two apartments but we didn't like either of them. (which means both or each of them).
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:33:50 PM

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Well, here is another case without the words "side, hand, flank"

He showed us two apartments but we didn't like either of them. (which means both or each of them).
Write Edge
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 6:55:44 AM

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First one sounds correct "The match was really great. Both teams played well."
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 7:01:28 AM

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Write Edge wrote:
First one sounds correct "The match was really great. Both teams played well."


Unfortunately it's not a matter of sounding only. I want to see it more deeply.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 8:08:53 AM

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Your mistake is not differentiating between the positive and the negative.


It doesn't mean what you think.


He didn't like either
= he liked neither

It is a negative, whether that negation is in 'neither' or attached to the verb as a 'not' . That is common in normal speech, to negate the verb, but it is still a negative. Not + either = neither.

He liked both of them.
2

He only liked one of them.
1

He didn't like either of them. = He liked neither of them. = He disliked both of them.
0



It does not work with the positiveverb. Positive verb + either is different.

If he had liked either of them, he would have been happy.
Ie he wouldn't have cared which one.
You can take either road, the distance will be the same.


Look out for the negation elsewhere in the sentence making it a form of 'neither' .
Eg
He has never liked either of us. =.He has always disliked both of us

I gave nothing to either of them.
= I didn't give anything to either of them
=they both got nothing
=neither of them received anything.

Nobody saw either of us
= neither of us were seen.
= Nobody saw us. Nobody saw me and nobody saw you.
= We both went in unseen.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:20:52 AM

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thar wrote:
Your mistake is not differentiating between the positive and the negative.


OK. But this is positive:

There was a chair on either side of the fire-place.

Audiendus says it's an idiom. But what dictionary says that it's an idiom?

Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:20:54 AM

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thar wrote:
Your mistake is not differentiating between the positive and the negative.


OK. But this is positive:

There was a chair on either side of the fire-place.

Audiendus says it's an idiom. But what dictionary says that it's an idiom?

Audiendus
Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:43:49 AM
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Ivan Fadeev wrote:
Audiendus says it's an idiom. But what dictionary says that it's an idiom?

See, for example, the Collins COBUILD English Usage Dictionary quoted by TFD, meaning 4 (used to mean 'each' in 'either side' or 'either end'). This meaning is restricted to positions. It cannot be used in other cases, e.g. 'either team' cannot be used to mean 'each team'.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021 4:08:54 AM

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Audiendus wrote:

See, for example, the Collins COBUILD English Usage Dictionary quoted by TFD, meaning 4 (used to mean 'each' in 'either side' or 'either end'). This meaning is restricted to positions. It cannot be used in other cases, e.g. 'either team' cannot be used to mean 'each team'.


By the way, they don't explicitly state that it can't be used in other cases. It's logical to infer that, but as I say it's an educated guess. I wish they were more categorical in their definitions.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021 4:10:51 AM

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So, what's the difference between:

I didn't like either of them.
I didn't like both of them.
Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021 8:55:43 AM
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Ivan Fadeev wrote:
So, what's the difference between:

I didn't like either of them. I didn't like A and I didn't like B.
I didn't like both of them. I didn't like A and B. I may have liked only A, or only B, or neither.

Regarding the use (or non-use) of 'either' to mean 'each': I am a native English speaker, so I am not simply relying on dictionary definitions.
thar
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021 10:29:01 AM

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you don't use both with the negative.
You would not say the second sentence.

I didn't like either of them.

I disliked both of them.

That is the difference between a word with a negative meaning and a negative verb.

You would not say
I didn't like both of them.

Unless you go on to modify your meaning, as Audie says. That would be a very unusual usage, in one particular situation. It has to have more explanation.
So, you liked both of them?
>I didn't like both.
It is not true that I liked both. Having said what you didn't mean, you have to say what you do mean.
>I only liked one of them.
But I think you should ignore that meaning. You won't be able to use it in the way you want to be able to, from your questions.

Two general rules:
1 you don't use 'both' with a negative; you use not + either

2 you don't use either with a positive to mean both. You use 'both'.

I liked both of them
I disliked both of them

I only liked one of them.
I only disliked one of them.

I didn't like either of them
= I liked neither of them (sounds formal)
I didn't dislike either of them
= I disliked neither of them (sounds very formal)

that last pair is like a double negative - it is very faint praise.
If I say I didn't dislike it, I am saying it did not make me experience a strong emotion of dislike, but there was nothing there to actually like. Very non-committal, and a polite way to say it was actually pretty awful. But since it is the wedding dress you have chosen......Whistle




Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021 3:22:55 PM

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Joined: 2/21/2015
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Thank you THAR! Good explanation. I still have some petty things to have explained.

I gave nothing to either of them.
I gave nothing to both of them. (it's legit, as there is no negating verb)

What's the difference?

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