Updated: Mar 5
In this article you can explore how to use these two phrases which are used for agreeing.
The form of the phrase depends on the sentence that we are reacting too. To be precise it depends on the tense used. Look at sentences in various tenses and what reaction can be used.
Here is a simple recipe how you can go around it. Just answer these questions:
1) Which tense is used in the sentence?
2) Which auxiliary verb is used for this tense?
3) Do I agree or disagree with the person?
‘I have good news.’
1) Which tense? present simple
2) Which auxiliary verb? do/does
3) I agree with the sentence: ‘So do I.’
I disagree with the sentence: ‘But I don’t.’
‘I haven’t had a lot of work.’
1) Which tense? --> present perfect
2) Which auxiliary verb? --> have/has
3) I agree with the sentence: ‘Neither have I.’
I disagree with the sentence: ‘But I have.’
What if we talk about a different person?
My mum bakes a lot. So does my mum. = So does mine.
My boyfriend has been skiing all day. = So has my boyfriend. / So have mine.
Our colleagues are not helpful. -->Neither are ours. (Our colleagues are not helpful either.)
Instead of repeating the nouns, we can use possessive pronouns (mine, yours, hers, his, its, ours, theirs).
EITHER vs. NEITHER vs. TOO
I am so lucky. --> Me too. (used in a reaction to a positive statement)
I don’t like queuing. --> Me neither. (used in a reaction to a negative statement)
--> I don’t like it either.
EITHER … OR …
When using this expression, we are choosing from two options.
We can go to either Italy or Greece on summer holiday.
You will have to get either a phone or a computer as we don’t have money for both.
NEITHER … NOR …
When using this expression, we are saying that we are not interested in any of the two options mentioned. Because the expression is negative, in the sentence shouldn’t be another negative.
We will go to neither Italy nor Greece. It is too expensive.
The film was neither funny nor interesting.
This expression can appear also at the beginning. The usual question is which verb – singular or plural – should be used? In this case a proximity rule is applied, which means that it depends on subject which is closer to the verb.
Neither me nor my boyfriend likes cycling.
Neither Nate nor his friends are going camping this year.
BOTH … AND …
When using this expression, we are saying that we want the two options.
We’re going to invite both Marcela and Renata.
The book was both thrilling and informative.