Distributives

October 12, 2010pdf

Each, every, either and neither are distributive adjectives. These are normally used with singular nouns.

Position
Distributives are placed immediately before the nouns they qualify.

  • Each boy wore a hat.
  • Neither answer is correct.
  • Every child needs love.

Note
Each, either and neither can be used with plural nouns when they are followed by ‘of’

  • Each of the boys wore a hat.
  • Neither of the answers is correct.

Each

Each is used when we are talking about the members of a group as individuals.

  • Each boy was given a watch.
  • Each of the boys was given a watch.

Each and every
Each is preferred when we are thinking of people or things separately, one at a time. Every is similar to all. Every is preferred when we are thinking of people or things together.

  • Each patient went to see the doctor. (In turn)
  • He gave every patient the same medicine.

Either and Neither

Either and neither are used to talk about distribution between two things.
Either is used in affirmative clauses. Neither is used in negative clauses.

  • Which shirt do you want? Either shirt will do.
  • I will take either shirt, they are both good.
  • Neither answer is correct.
  • Neither of them came.
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