Agriculture Communication


| Share

Write the Right Word: ‘Both’ Often Unnecessary

Avoid the urge to insert “both” in sentences that don’t need it.

These are examples in which it’s not necessary: “Both Tom and Dick attended the play.”  Or this: “Prices for both wheat and corn were much higher this year.”

Just remember that “both” refers to two people or things. It’s not necessary in these examples because the two people (Tom and Dick) or things (wheat and corn) are specified. “Both” is needed only when those people or things are not identified and you want the reader to know you are referring to two individuals or items.

Here are some examples of its correct usage: “We met Lisa and Susan, who are sisters.” or “We met both sisters.” “Researchers planted switchgrass in trial plots 12 and 14.” or “Researchers planted switchgrass in both trial plots.”

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

Filed under:
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.