English Grammar: How to use too / either / neither

Lesson 1: When You Can’t Use “Too” (and “As Well”)

You can use too and as well after affirmative sentences. An affirmative sentence is a positive sentence (“I am a man”), NOT a negative sentence (I am NOT a man).

Correct Examples:

A: I like this song.

B: Me too. / I like it too. (= So do I. / I do as well. I also like it.)

A: I graduated from the University of British Columbia. 

B: Really? Me too! / I did too! (= So did I. / I did as well. I also did.)

Incorrect Examples:

A: My mother can’t drive a car.

B: My mother can’t too. / My mother can’t as well. 

^ These sentences are wrong! The first sentence is negative (can NOT), so you cannot use too after it. You should say:

“My mother can’t either.” – or – “Neither can my mom.”

A: I haven’t seen Michael today.

B: I haven’t too. / I haven’t seen him as well. 

^ These are wrong too! The first sentence is negative (have NOT) again. You should say:

“I haven’t seen him either.” – or – “Neither have I.”

Rule: when the verb is negative, you cannot use “too.” Remember that we are talking about the verb and NOT the meaning of the message. For example, “I hate carrots.” has a negative meaning, but the verb hate is not in a negative form. If you also hate carrots, you have to say “Me too!” since the previous sentence does not have “NOT” in it.

Note: The word never makes a sentence negative. For example, “I have never been there.” / “Me neither.” This is correct.

So what’s the difference between either and neither? That’s next.

Lesson 2: The Difference between Either and Neither

  • The word “either” is used with a negative verb (e.g. have NOT).
  • The word “neither” is used with an affirmative (positive) verb (e.g. have).

Both have the same meaning! Let’s look at one of the previous examples.

A: My mother can’t drive a car.

B: My mother can’t (drive) either. / Neither can my mom. 

^ Both of these answers are fine. Either goes at the end of a sentence that has a negative verb (can’t). Neither goes at the beginning of a sentence before an affirmative verb (can). Both expressions have the same meaning.

Let’s look at the second example:

A: I haven’t seen Michael today.

B: I haven’t (seen him) either. / Neither have I. 

That is the basic rule.

Sounds too Hard? Answer The Easy Way: “Me too” or “Me neither / Me either!”

Usually we talk about ourselves. So when you want to say that something is also true for you, you can say the easy answer “Me too!” instead of longer answers like “So have I! / I have also! / I have as well!”

There is also an easy answer for negative sentences that are true for you. You can just say either “Me neither! / Me either!” instead of “Neither have I. / I haven’t either.” This is the easiest answer.

Which is better: “Me neither” or “Me either”?

“Me either” has 9.8 million hits on Google. “Me neither” has 4.4 million hits. This suggests that “Me either” is a bit more common but you can use whichever you want.

Do you think you understand? Take the Quiz!

A: I’m hungry.

B: . I want to buy lunch but I don’t have any money.

A: . I hate being poor.

B: .

Answers

B: Me too / So am I / I am too.

A: Me (n)either / Neither do I. / I don’t either.

B: Me too / So do I / I do too.

My mother doesn’t have a job, and  ( neither / father).

I can’t drive a car, and ( brother / either).

You haven’t been to Taiwan. And (I / either).

Paul hasn’t done his homework. (neither / Jane).

Answers

… neither does my father

…. my brother can’t (drive a car) either

…. I haven’t (been to Taiwan) either

…. Neither has Jane.

He didn’t have an umbrella, and  did I.

This restaurant is cheap. The food is good .

I can’t understand this question. My mother can’t .

Answers

neither

too

either

I hope this is helpful. There are (of course) more advanced ways to use either and neither. But this should be a good first step. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Good luck with your studies!

Matthew Barton / EnglishCurrent.com

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31 comments on “English Grammar: How to use too / either / neither

  1. Manasa (Posted on 8-7-2013 at 09:30) Reply

    Yeah..its nice

  2. fernando pinon (Posted on 10-14-2015 at 13:23) Reply

    thankyou for your help god bless you

  3. Kathy (Posted on 10-28-2015 at 10:03) Reply

    Thank you! Very helpful. I ‘m using your ideas for my adult ed class at the library.

  4. SSVR SRINIVAS (Posted on 12-8-2015 at 09:46) Reply

    Is it correct to use in short answers . I don’t like onions.nor does he

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 12-8-2015 at 14:23) Reply

      Yes, that short answer is correct, though it sounds a bit old fashioned. “Neither does he” would be more common, in my opinion.

      1. Hanaa (Posted on 5-24-2020 at 21:04) Reply

        Great , thank you .

  5. Gary (Posted on 4-21-2016 at 04:21) Reply

    Very clear and helpful, thanks!

  6. fahimeh (Posted on 5-13-2016 at 05:49) Reply

    that was wonderful

  7. Stanley Abu (Posted on 5-28-2016 at 16:36) Reply

    I do really appreciate you.God bless you, amen.

  8. Teika Ameiratrini (Posted on 2-16-2017 at 18:37) Reply

    I really love the explanation❤️

  9. Lill (Posted on 4-19-2017 at 08:20) Reply

    Thank you!

  10. Bindu gopan (Posted on 5-15-2017 at 10:28) Reply

    Thanku for ur help…

  11. Asfand (Posted on 8-22-2017 at 07:08) Reply

    Nice Explanation, Thank you :)

  12. Nikita Patil (Posted on 9-8-2017 at 11:33) Reply

    This is very interesting and helpful for all children’s ad well as elders. I love it because of it I can study now and score nice marks in exam

  13. Roghayeh (Posted on 9-19-2017 at 12:30) Reply

    As good as it gets
    Thanks

  14. belo (Posted on 9-22-2017 at 11:56) Reply

    great lesson

  15. Mamoon (Posted on 9-30-2017 at 01:28) Reply

    Great, awesome and helpful! Thank you.

  16. Sappphire (Posted on 1-19-2018 at 11:40) Reply

    very useful!Thank you very much!I appreciate it!

  17. seema lama (Posted on 10-20-2018 at 01:45) Reply

    change this sentence into affirmative. I’m not fine and neither is my sister.

    1. Darnelle Nurse (Posted on 10-20-2018 at 02:27) Reply

      I’m fine and so is my sister.

  18. ValeTta (Posted on 12-20-2018 at 01:08) Reply

    I really loved it! Exactly what I was looking for.

  19. Aimé Ksl (Posted on 12-27-2018 at 15:16) Reply

    It’s Absolutely Brilliant! However, I’d Be Much More Obliged If You Could Shorten The Lesson Using A Chat. Thanks So Much.

  20. ines (Posted on 1-18-2019 at 09:14) Reply

    very nice exercise

  21. Akstankey (Posted on 5-11-2019 at 13:48) Reply

    Very precise and extremely useful. God bless all your endeavours

  22. Anonymous (Posted on 3-27-2020 at 00:04) Reply

    What if there are two different situations? One is, “Jane doesn’t have a guitar.” and “Dave has a guitar”. How are we going to use neither,either,so,do and too?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 3-27-2020 at 02:14) Reply

      You cannot use neither/either/so/too in your example because there are not two things that are the same. Therefore, you should use a word like ‘but’ to indicate contrast. E.g. ‘Jane doesn’t have a guitar, but Dave has one.’

  23. Anonymous (Posted on 5-4-2020 at 05:17) Reply

    good exercise

  24. Grace (Posted on 8-6-2020 at 05:39) Reply

    I haven’t seen “either” of them for years

    Is this correct

    Or should it be

    I haven’t seen “neither” of them for years

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 8-6-2020 at 15:11) Reply

      Hello Grace. The first one is correct. When you have a negative verb (have NOT), then you cannot use ‘neither’, because neither goes with a positive verb (e.g. “I’ve seen neither.” <-- this is correct, but I'd probably say "I haven't seen either" as it feels more natural.)

  25. Tracy (Posted on 10-24-2020 at 23:39) Reply

    Hello, please help me!
    A: I don’t like my sister’s boyfriend.
    B: I don’t either
    if B says that. It mean B doesn’t like sister’s boyfriend of A or B doesn’t like sister’s boyfriend of B?
    Waiting for soon reply!

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 10-25-2020 at 13:41) Reply

      Tracy, good question. Technically, it could mean either. It would be very rare that A and B both have sisters who have boyfriends whom they dislike, so it’s more natural to assume that they both dislike the same person (A’s sister’s boyfriend). However, technically, it could mean either.

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