Advertisements
you're reading...
conjunctions

Note 45 – either…or (coordinating conjunctions)


Either…or (a pair of coordinating conjunctions)

In note 43 http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-8m, I blogged about conjunctions explaining that they are a type of word that joins together phrases, clauses or words (as cited in John Seeley’s A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation).  Today I’m going to blog about how to use a pair of conjunctions, in particular either…or.

John Seeley explains that a pair of coordinating conjunctions are “used to link items which have the same grammatical status”.  People sometimes make common error is to put them in the wrong place but these can usually be correct by rearranging the sentence.

The right place to put a pair of coordinating conjunctions

To think of this sentence for this example, I came up with two clauses or phrases. 

  • The brown coat that I like
  • A birthday present for Jack

Which one of these sentences have been linked correctly using either…or?

(1a) Either I will buy the brown coat that I like or a birthday present for Jack

(1b) I will buy either the brown coat that I like or a birthday present for Jack

Explanation

Both the brown coat and a birthday present have the same grammatical status. To make the sentence grammatically correct, the words either and then or need to be placed separately before each of these parts of the sentence. Unfortunately in (1a) the word either was not placed before the brown coat, whereas in (1b) it was.  The correct sentence is therefore (1b).

Other examples of pairs of coordinating conjunctions

  • Both…and (used in first line in the paragraph above – quite by accident)
  • Neither…nor (I will blog about this another day)

My thoughts: This is one of those rules that you will never get wrong once you know how it should be done.  If this is something you are finding confusing, just look out for coordinating conjunctions when you are reading anything and you will soon get the hang of it.  If I think of some more examples I will add to this blog.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your day

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

This blog: http://mywritingnotes.wordpress.com

My other blog: http://sandramadeira.wordpress.com

My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com (includes first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

John Seely  The Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, USA

Advertisements

About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 430 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 151,831 hits
%d bloggers like this: