Spelling Either — a Basic Guide to Spell Correctly

Either is one of those words that are hard to comprehend for new English language learners. However, no matter how challenging it may be, it is a useful tool in writing to break up the monotony.

Without either, we would have to write down the conjunction “or” over and over. Needless to say, this would be tedious. So we write the word either to have a smoother transition.

In a similar fashion, we also utilize the word neither, and you can think of neither as a negative either. But what exactly is either, anyway? And if my sentence has a negative connotation, What are the right circumstances to utilize it, and how?

What is the correct spelling of either — or is it ether, or ither? In this article, we will analyze the word either (and neither), its meaning, where to use it, and the correct way of spelling either.

At the end of the day, you either know how to use either or don’t. No pun intended.

Dictionary Definition of Either

landscape photography of splitted road surrounded with trees during snow.
Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

Either is a versatile word you can utilize in many scenarios. The definition of either is:

  • The one and the other of two.
  • One or the other.
  • Function word preceding two or more coordinate words, phrases, or clauses joined together. Usually by or to indicate that what follows is the first of two or several alternatives.
  • Finally, you can use either to give emphasis after a negative adjective.

There’s a lot to go through, isn’t it? To help you understand this better, we prepared some examples below. In these examples, you can see all the different applications of the word. 

  • It’s either going to be pasta or chicken; we can’t have both.
  • Lead can either mean to direct something or someone or a highly toxic metal.
  • It was kind of a discussion where either side was wrong, so you couldn’t pick sides.
  • Either you come with me today, or you regret staying here for the rest of your life!
  • They were speaking a foreign language, either French or German. But it definitely wasn’t English!
  • There was so much traffic on either side of the road I couldn’t make the appointment.

Spelling Either

Either is spelled as you see on the screen, although some people write down ither or ether, they are completely different things.

The phonetic transcription of either is EE-THuhr.

To Wrap Up

After reading the article in its entirety, you now know what spelling either or else means, the dictionary definition of either, and the difference between spelling either and spelling else.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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