Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.internal_encoding is deprecated in /home/studyvid/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 28

Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.input_encoding is deprecated in /home/studyvid/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 29

Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.output_encoding is deprecated in /home/studyvid/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 30

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/studyvid/public_html/libraries/joomla/filter/input.php on line 652
Conjunction - Or

Conjunction - Or

Alternative flash content

Requirements

Or

Hello! In this lesson, we will learn to use the conjunction "or". This word helps us connect two words, phrases, or clauses which are alternatives to each other. For example, we might ask "Do you want coffee or tea?". We might say"I do not feel good. I do not want to drink or eat.". We will also learn to use expressions which contain "either/or" and "neither/nor".  These expressions also connect two words, phrases, or clauses which are alternatives to each other. For example, we might say "I want to drink either coffee or tea.", in which the word "either" introduces the first affirmative term and "or" introduces the second affirmative term. With this usage, either coffee or tea is acceptable, but not both. And we notice that we use two, and only two, options which are mutually exclusive. The negative form of this expression is "neither/nor." For example, we can say "I want neither coffee nor tea." in which the word "neither" introduces the first negative term and "nor" introduces the second negative term. Now we have seen how these expressions operate with individual words, like "coffee" and "tea". They can also be used with phrases or complete clauses. For example, we can say "Jennifer will either go shopping or read a book this afternoon." in which the word "either" introduces the phrase "go shopping" and "or" introduces the phrase "read a book". Similarly, we could say "Jennifer will neither go shopping nor read a book this afternoon." , in which the word "neither" introduces the first negative term "go shopping", and the word "nor" introduces the second negative term "read a book".
Now that we have an idea of how to use these expressions, let us listen to the dialog.

Jennifer:  Do you want toast or cereal for breakfast?
David: I want neither toastnor cereal.
Jennifer: Are you going to eat or be hungry?
David: I don’t want to either eat or be hungry. I want pancakes.
Jennifer:  Oh David. Are you going to make pancakes or am I?
David:  Neither you nor I – we are going to a restaurant.

Now that we understand how to use "either/or" and "neither/nor", let us look more carefully at the sentences in the dialog.
At first, Jennifer offers the choice between toast or cereal by asking "Do you want toast or cereal for breakfast?".  Notice that by using this "either/or" construction, Jennifer grammatically limits David's choice to one of two alternatives, but not both, and not additional choices. She limits his choices to one of these two options. However, David rebels against this grammatical restriction by answering "I want neither toast nor cereal.", discarding both options. Jennifer offers him a different restricted choice "Are you going to eat or be hungry?",  limiting his options to only these two options – “to eat” or “be hungry”.  David again rebels against the restricted choices by answering "I don’t want to either eat or be hungry. I want pancakes.", again discarding both options.  Jennifer is exasperated at David's response, saying "Oh David. Are you going to make pancakes or am I?". She might also have asked "Are you going to make pancakes or am I going to make pancakes?", limiting the choice of cooks to the two people in the apartment – herself or David.  David responds "Neither you nor I – we are going to a restaurant.".Note that regardless of David's rebellion against the grammatical strictures, he always responds within the limits of the "either/or" and "neither/nor" construction. So the grammatical restriction limits the grammatical response possible, but it certainly cannot limit the actual choices available to the people in the conversation.
Now that you understand the use of "either/or" and "neither/nor", listen to the dialog again. Listen to the way these expressions are used to form alternatives.

Jennifer:  Do you want toast or cereal for breakfast?
David: I want neither toast nor cereal.
Jennifer: Are you going to eat or be hungry?
David: I don’t want to either eat or be hungry. I want pancakes.
Jennifer:  Oh David. Are you going to make pancakes or am I?
David:  Neither you nor I – we are going to a restaurant.

Excellent! You have learned to grammatically present alternatives and either accept or reject them. This ability will greatly improve your capacity to communicate options. Use these expressions in your conversations in English.