Conjunctions for alternative choices

English grammar is a set of rules to regulate the pattern of expression. In this blog, “conjunctions for alternative choices” you will learn how to express a situation of two choices by using either.. or and neither.. nor.

Let’s look at some rules, techniques, and examples of either.. or and neither.. nor for greater insight.

In the previous blog on ‘Either.. or’, I have already explained about either..or. But, in this blog, I have taken it for the purpose of comparison with ‘Neither…nor.’


•Unlike either..or, ‘neither.. nor’ has negative significance.

•Either.. Or is generally used for positive choices; whereas, neither.. nor negative.

•Nevertheless, both are actively  used to express or indicate choices between two options.

•Either.. Or is used to make positive decision regarding choices among two or more things, whereas neither.. nor to make negative decision regarding choices.

•Choices may be nouns, adjectives, infinitives, or phrases.These are also used to  join two independent clauses.

•Like either.. or, neither.. nor is used as a paired conjunction.

Examples and explanations of Neither..nor

•If you have decided to purchase a bike, then you have to purchase either in EMI or  with cash.

•It is raining heavily ever since morning. So, neither Adam nor his father could go outside.

In both the sentences, either.. or and neither.. nor is used in the middle of the sentence to express choices in the form of noun and noun phrases.

In the first example, either..or is preceded noun phrase -in EMI and with cash.

In the second example, Adam and his father is preceded by neither..nor.

•Neither England nor Australia is ready to play the match  with wet outfield.

In this sentence, unlike earlier one, neither.. nor is used to begin the sentence to make choices between two nouns-England  and Australia.

•Neither they go by bus nor would  hire a taxi  to visit park.

•Neither he will win the match nor she let him to do so.

In both the examples, neither.. nor is used to begin sentences. But, here the choices are expressed between two independent clauses.

While we use neither.. nor to express choices, comma isn’t necessary provided that pair of connection is used in the single sentence without fullstop.

• President Trump is going to participate in G20 neither to solve trade war deadlock nor to remove sanctions.

This example is the best epitome to express choices between two infinitives with either…or.

Here, two infinitives are used after neither.. nor. One is ‘to solve trade war deadlock’ and other is,  ‘to remove sanctions.’

•Apples are neither cheap nor accessible for tropical countries.

This example is different from earlier. Here adjectives are used to indicate negative decisions in terms of choices.

•Apple company has decided neither to  stay in China nor to go back US.

In this example also, infinitives are used to express choices.

Neither US nor China is going to benefit from the ongoing trade war.

Neither  as  a pronoun

So far, we have learnt about the neither.. nor pair as a conjunction. Apart from this, it is also used as a pronoun, determiner, or adverb in the given sentence.

If you are going to use either without or as a pronoun then the following structure becomes compulsory.

•Neither of alternatives is useful in eradicating poverty.

•Neither of teams is contender for the title.

In both examples of is used in association with neither. It looks like compulsory. Yes, of is used with neither or either to use as a pronoun.

In the upcoming blogs, you will get further knowledge about such pairs.

Present perfect continuous tense

Learning present continuous tense

Relative adverbs

Role of subject complement

Adverbial complements

Understanding no sooner than

Explanation of cumulative conjunction

Correct use of “but” and “yet”

Reality of Indian tribals

Naxalism in tribal India