Effective Usage of Correlative Conjunctions

Note: In all examples below, A and B are the same parts of speech.

NEITHER A NOR B:

Used in negative sense. The verb agrees with the noun that is closer to it.

Examples:

  • Neither Kelly nor Sarah likes dancing.

  • His car is neither fast nor reliable.

  • My grandpa neither reads nor watches television.

EITHER A OR B:

The verb agrees with the noun that is closer to it.

Examples:

  • Either you or Jenny has to bring the cake to the party.

  • Either John or his sister is going to pick me up from the airport.

  • I don't like either coffee or tea.

NOT ONLY A BUT ALSO B:

The verb agrees with the noun that is closer to it.

Examples:

  • Not only Tom but also his sister got a promotion at work.

  • I not only study hard but also participate in extracurricular activities.

  • She is interested in not only history but also art.

BOTH A AND B:

Verbs always take the plural forms.

Examples:

  • Both Jim and Ann are attending the conference.

  • Both Jack and his friends have completed the project.

  • He can speak both French and Italian.

Grammar Lab

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