Either and neither are total opposites, it is absolutely necessary to know the right and the exact meaning of these words to avoid using them incorrectly in public.
Either can be used in different parts of speech such as: a conjunction, an adjective, a pronoun or an adverb. As a pronoun conjunction or an adjective ‘either’ means one or the other.
- You can take either car to the movie tonight. (Adjective)
- Either one of the candidates would make a fine president. (Pronoun)
- This is a list of people who gave either money or time during the campaign. (Conjunction)
As an adverb ‘either’ means ‘likewise’.
- If you aren’t going to the show tonight, I won’t either.
Neither can also be used as four distinct parts of speech: adjective, pronoun, conjunction, and adverb. As a pronoun conjunction or an adjective ‘neither’ means ‘not one or the other’.
- I’m not sure. Neither shirt fits me very well. (Adjective)
- Neither of the speakers has arrived yet. (Pronoun)
- After the fight, he neither called nor wrote. (Conjunction)
As an adverb ‘neither’ means ‘similarly not; also not.
- If you don’t want to go to the concert, neither do I. (Adverb)
- Either means one, neither means none, and not either equals neither. ‘Or’ goes with either and ‘nor’ goes with neither.