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Write the Right Word: ‘Both,’ ‘Either’ May Be Unnecessary

In many cases, you can eliminate the words “both” and “either” from sentences about two things or people.

The reason: they’re unnecessary.

So instead of saying this: “Taking a walk every day provides both family time and an opportunity for regular physical activity,” or this: “I will choose to buy either a red car or a blue car,” say this: “Talking a walk every day provides family time and an opportunity for regular physical activity” and “I will chose to buy a red or blue car.”

The “both” and “either” are unnecessary because in the first sentence, the “and” clearly indicates walking will provide two benefits, and in the second sentence, the “or” indicates a choice of two cars.

However, you need to use “both” or “either” when the choices of things or people aren’t clear. For instance: “He said to use either door.” Or this: “I don’t have room for both cars in my garage.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391  

 

 

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