Vocabulary Tuesdays (with Joanna): Neither & Not either

There are ways to repeat some information without really repeating yourself. One way to avoid repeating information is by using neither or not either. How do we do it?

Read these two sentences:

Tom doesn’t eat meat. Susan doesn’t eat meat.

Too much repetition, right? Look at these sentences:

Tom doesn’t eat meat. Neither does Susan.

Tom doesn’t eat meat. Susan does not either.

Better!

Remember! When you use neither, use the helping word: Neither does Susan. Do not use the word from the first sentence. When you use either, use the helping word + not + either.

Look at these examples:

I don’t like watching scary movies. Neither does my husband.

I don’t like watching scary movies. My husband doesn’t either.

Neither and not either are for negative sentences.

Let’s practice!

Rewrite these sentences:

Tony didn’t arrive on time. John didn’t arrive on time.

I’m not having a good day. You’re not having a good day.

My children don’t like milk. Their children don’t like milk.


Answer Key:

Tony didn’t arrive on time. Neither did John. OR John didn’t either.

I’m not having a good day. Neither are you. You aren’t either.

My children don’t like milk. Neither do their children. Their children don’t either.


Joanna Rodzen-Hickey

Joanna Rodzen-Hickey has been an ESL teacher and consultant for nearly 20 years. She has taught English at numerous universities and community colleges in New Jersey and currently teaches at the Hackettstown High School in Hackettstown, NJ.

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