Either or and Verb Agreement

Either/or and verb agreement are two grammar concepts that often cause confusion among writers. These two concepts are closely related, and mastering them is essential to producing error-free, readable content that can rank high in search engine results pages. In this article, we will explain what either/or and verb agreement are and how to use them properly.

Either/or is a correlative conjunction that is used to indicate a choice between two options. When using either/or, it is important to ensure that the subject and verb agree in number with the noun closest to the verb, regardless of whether it follows either or or. For example, if we say, “Either Sarah or the boys are coming to the party,” the verb “are” agrees with “boys,” which is the closest noun to the verb, even though “Sarah” precedes “boys.” If we said, “Either the boys or Sarah is coming to the party,” the verb “is” agrees with “Sarah,” which is the closest noun to the verb.

In cases where one option is plural and the other is singular, it is generally more natural to put the plural noun second, as in the examples above. Still, it is possible to reverse the order, as long as the verb agrees with the closest noun. For instance, we could say, “Either the boys or Sarah is coming to the party,” and “Either Sarah or the boys are coming to the party.”

The same rule applies to neither/nor constructions, where the verb should agree with the closest noun. For example, “Neither the coach nor the players are in the locker room,” and “Neither the players nor the coach is in the locker room.”

In conclusion, mastering either/or and verb agreement is essential to producing grammatically correct writing that effectively communicates the message to the reader. Remember to ensure that the subject and verb agree with the noun closest to the verb when using either/or and neither/nor constructions. With practice, these concepts will become second nature, and your writing will be more polished, error-free, and SEO-friendly.

CBR