Either of the boys is not clever.?

Hi, everyone:

Can we say "Either of the boys is not clever" to mean "Neither of the boys is clever"?

Does the first sentence sound awkward or even wrong?

Thanks.

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I am from Taiwan and I'm learning English, so the questions I ask may be simple. I hope you guys can help me with my English learning.

Thanks a lot!

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Suppose you talked about two boys:

    Boy A abd Boy B.

    "Either of the boys is not clever" means

    1. Boy A is not clever _or_ Boy B is not clever; or

    2. Boy A is clever _and_ Boy B is not clever; or

    3. Boy A is not clever _and_ Boy B is clever.

    "Neither of the boys is clever" means

    1. Boy A is not clever _and_ Boy B is not clever.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with first answerer. A native English speaker would say "neither of the boys is clever". The first sentence is both awkward and wrong. You can't use "either" with the negative "not clever".

    Source(s): Native English speaker!
  • 1 decade ago

    The first sentence is awkward. I have no problem with the sentence: either of the boys can field a baseball although I would prefer the sentence both of the boys can field a baseball.

    The sentence reads like something dreamed up by a linguist. I think technically it is OK, but it is definitely not idiomatic and I would consider it unlikely that a native speaker would use that construction.

  • 1 decade ago

    tttt2007 is on the money. It depends on what your trying to say.

    "Neither" is conjunctive and binds the meaning of not being clever to both boys. "Either" is an exclusive disjunction and say one or the other is not clever but not both.

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  • dee k
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    when you use either you mean to say one is not clever & therefore imply that the other is ,when you say neither it means that boys are not clever ,

  • 1 decade ago

    "Neither of the boys is clever" sounds much better and is far easier to understand.

  • 1 decade ago

    "Neither of the boys is clever" sounds more natural and is more easily understood, in my opinion.

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