Either or coordinating conjunction is mainly used to add positive alternatives or present two options in the form of words, phrases, or independent clauses. Basically, it introduces coordinating clauses to form compound sentences.
Correct use of either or as coordinating conjunction
Either or is a coordinating or paired conjunction. It makes choices between two things as an alternatives. These things may be words, phrases, or independent clauses.
1. Role and functions of alternative conjunctions Either….or
Technically, like other coordinating conjunctions, alternative conjunctions are also used to make compound or mixed sentences by connecting independent clauses to main clause.
But, apart from this, these are also used to join two words, phrases or parts of equal importance to the sentence.
Moreover, either… Or is also called paired or correlated conjunction as it used in pair to relate or join independent clauses or classes of words or phrases together.
Unlike “Neither nor”, it is used in positive sense, whereas neither… nor for negative.
2. Position of either or coordinating conjunction in sentence
Whenever, “Either” is used to join two independent clauses, it is placed before clause.
Likewise, in case of noun, pronoun, and adjectives, “Either” is placed before them.
But, “Either” is used after verb if there are two similar actions in the given sentence. Otherwise, “Either” is used before the verb.
Useful examples of either or in different positions
First of all, take a look at some general examples of either or:–
- Countries should reduce either coal or fossil fuels consumptions to arrest carbon emissions. (nouns)
- Countries want to either reduce coal consumption or increase green energy to minimize global warming. (infinitive complements)
- UN is urging member nations either to create fund or provide incentives for poverty eradication. (before infinitive clause)
- Least developed nations need to improve either infrastructure or business atmosphere to attract FDI.
- Either your mother will help you to complete assignments, or you will get an extra day to prepare. (two independent clauses)
Either… Or is used to express two choices as a noun or noun phrase.
- US has decided to either influence the behaviour of trading partners or increase market share through trade negotiations.
- China have generated a lot of foreign currency either to invest or spend on infrastructure.
- Nature can challenge human might through either floods or droughts.
Use of either….Or at the beginning of the sentence.
- Either HEP or wind energy will solve the problem of energy scarcity in future.
- Either ground water will help or we need to clean up rivers to tide us over the problem of water scarcity.
In the first case, we have connected two words or phrases at the beginning, whereas in the second example, we connected two clauses.
Either used as a pronoun
If you use either as a pronoun, then you need to follow this structure:-
Either + of + noun or phrase.
- I have two approaches to study. You can follow either of approaches.
- Don’t get scared. There are two possibilities. Either of them may be true.
- Either of nations are powerful at the global stage.
- So, do not underestimate either of them.
Both of and either of are sometime used interchangeably as a pronoun.
There are also other forms like “Either” as a adverb or determiner. But, as of now, this is enough. In the next blog, I am going to explain about neither nor coordinating conjunctions for negative choices in detail.