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English translation: is

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01:07 Oct 29, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: GRAMMAR
Neither of you is /are reaponsible for the accident.
sofia
English translation:is
Explanation:
Because neither means not either one of you, and one is singular.

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Note added at 2002-10-29 01:11:26 (GMT)
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So, neither (one) of you is responsible for the accident.

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Note added at 2002-10-29 02:33:42 (GMT)
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In response to the comments of Chris and Crumpler, i will add one more note. Rules are good, but logic is better.

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Note added at 2002-10-29 06:22:02 (GMT)
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Just a note to Crumpler:

Several points:

1) When I say rules are good, but logic is better, I mean that it is better to reason out the logic behind a rule than to follow it blindly. You have certainly shown a tendency to want to do this, but there are a couple of false steps in your reasoning.

2) You have broken down neither into \'not either\', which is correct, but you have not further broken down the meaning of \'either\'. Used as a pronoun (as \'neither\' is in this example), it stands for \'the one or the other\', therefore \'one\' comes into the equation after all.

3) In your example \'either the puppy or the twins\', you have used \'either\' as a conjunction, not a pronoun. Therefore it is not the subject of the verb.

4) As far as the word \'none\' is concerned, its etymological derivation is certainly \'not one.\' But its semantic function in the example you gave, \'none are responsible\', is that of \'not any\', rather than \'not one.\' None as a pronoun can be either singular or plural, depending on whether the intended meaning is \'not one\' or \'not any.\'

5) And finally, I notice you have used the spelling \'it\'s\' for that possessive pronoun. This may have been a typo, but if it wasn\'t, I would enjoy hearing the reasoning process of a mathematician on \"its\" usage. God knows my sixth grade students are split on the subject.
Selected response from:

Refugio
Local time: 10:55
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +20isRefugio
5 +3Neither [one] of you is reaponsible for the accident.Fuad Yahya
5 +3addition
Yelena.
5 +2is/areChris Rowson
5 +1Neither ... nor ...Krokodil
5Either is acceptable on the general scope...
Bryan Crumpler


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +20
is


Explanation:
Because neither means not either one of you, and one is singular.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-29 01:11:26 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

So, neither (one) of you is responsible for the accident.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-29 02:33:42 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In response to the comments of Chris and Crumpler, i will add one more note. Rules are good, but logic is better.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-29 06:22:02 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just a note to Crumpler:

Several points:

1) When I say rules are good, but logic is better, I mean that it is better to reason out the logic behind a rule than to follow it blindly. You have certainly shown a tendency to want to do this, but there are a couple of false steps in your reasoning.

2) You have broken down neither into \'not either\', which is correct, but you have not further broken down the meaning of \'either\'. Used as a pronoun (as \'neither\' is in this example), it stands for \'the one or the other\', therefore \'one\' comes into the equation after all.

3) In your example \'either the puppy or the twins\', you have used \'either\' as a conjunction, not a pronoun. Therefore it is not the subject of the verb.

4) As far as the word \'none\' is concerned, its etymological derivation is certainly \'not one.\' But its semantic function in the example you gave, \'none are responsible\', is that of \'not any\', rather than \'not one.\' None as a pronoun can be either singular or plural, depending on whether the intended meaning is \'not one\' or \'not any.\'

5) And finally, I notice you have used the spelling \'it\'s\' for that possessive pronoun. This may have been a typo, but if it wasn\'t, I would enjoy hearing the reasoning process of a mathematician on \"its\" usage. God knows my sixth grade students are split on the subject.

Refugio
Local time: 10:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 485
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Chinoise
0 min
  -> Thank you, BBW

agree  María Alejandra Funes
1 min
  -> Thank you, María Alejandra

agree  Monica Colangelo
3 mins
  -> Thank you, Trixie

agree  OlafK
7 mins
  -> Thank you, Olaf

agree  Emilia Carneiro
7 mins
  -> Thank you, Emilia

agree  Kardi Kho
11 mins
  -> Thank you, Kardi

agree  Kim Metzger
26 mins
  -> Thank you, Kim

agree  JCEC
46 mins
  -> Thank you, JC

agree  Rebecca Freed
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Rebecca

agree  Bryan Crumpler: poor explanation, but good answer. key point that should have been noted is that "of you" is a prepositional phrase that can be omitted, which is the real reason why the confusion (mistaking 'you' for the subject) exists in the 1st place.
1 hr
  -> A word to the wise is sufficient, Crumpler. Thanks, I think.

agree  xxx& Associates
2 hrs
  -> Thank you, David.

agree  airmailrpl
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, air

agree  xxxKanta Rawat
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, jb

agree  Krokodil: Neither is singular. I really can't understand the following somewhat pointless debate on something which is so blindingly obvious.
10 hrs
  -> Sort of like Mount Everest. Because it is there.

agree  jccantrell
14 hrs
  -> Thank you, jc

agree  Christopher Crockett: No question about it, no matter how many blow-dried talking TeeVee heads or moronic Sports Figures "change" the language with their ignorant usage of it. "Neither...are" just won't fly, period. Also, That Dog won't Hunt.
14 hrs
  -> Thank you, Christopher. Turned out to be an emotional issue!

agree  Gabor Kiss
15 hrs
  -> Thank you, gkiss

agree  xxxY: Excellent. Much fuss about nought.
18 hrs
  -> Thank you, Y.

agree  Sue Goldian: Very nice, lucid and concise explanation, unlike some of the other suggestions below.
19 hrs
  -> Thank you, Sue.

agree  Jacqueline McKay
12 days
  -> Thank you, Jacqueline
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Neither [one] of you is reaponsible for the accident.


Explanation:
Either and neither take the singualr.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett
14 hrs
  -> Thank you for forgiving my typo!

agree  Kardi Kho
5 days

agree  AhmedAMS
43 days
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51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
is/are


Explanation:
In the old form of the language, which is what many people here will call correct, it has to be "is".

But the language is changing. It is becoming increasingly common to say and to write "neither ... are". In your sentence this is rather noticeable, but I will give an example where it is not so obvious: "Neither of the people who answered before me seem to be prepared to accept change in our language".

In this sentence, the subject (neither) is further away from the verb (seem), and the difference between "seem" (plural) and "seems" (singular) is not so obvious as between "are" (plural) and "is" (singular). According to the old forms it has to be "neither ... seems", rather than "neither ... seem".

Sometimes my colleagues tell me I should call the new forms wrong, instead of accepting them. But where did the old "correct" forms come from? They were themselves once new. Trying to prevent language from changing is like trying to prevent a tree from growing.

Chris Rowson
Local time: 19:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 243

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Refugio: Sometimes they are real changes, as in "it's me", and other times they are just attention deficit. I hope we didn't imply we were trying to keep language from changing. This one also sounds right.
10 mins

agree  Bryan Crumpler: No no... both "seem" and "seems" are correct. I'm about to burst everyone's bubble in a second.
37 mins

agree  Krokodil: In which case neither version is/are (or seem/seems to be) correct ....
12 hrs

disagree  Christopher Crockett: Nutz. All things are relative, and words can mean anything I want them to mean. Down that road lay Dragons, Chris.
13 hrs
  -> I do not believe that there is a form of the language which always has been and always will be the correct one.

neutral  xxxY: Typical rudeness and nonsense (and self-delusional infallibility) from Crumpler. In your case, it should have been 'none', not 'neither'.
17 hrs
  -> Y?

agree  Chinoise
5 days
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
addition


Explanation:
The pronouns neither and either are singular and require singular verbs even though they seem to be referring, in a sense, to two things.

1. Neither of the two traffic lights is working.
2. Which shirt do you want for Christmas?
Either is fine with me.

However, in sentences with the constructions either... or, neither… nor the subject closer to the verb determines the number of the verb. Whether the subject comes before or after the verb doesn't matter; the proximity determines the number. The verb must agree with the subject nearest to the verb.

1. Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
2. Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house.
3. Are either my brothers or my father responsible?
4. Is either my father or my brothers responsible?


Yelena.
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:55
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Bryan Crumpler: yeah... this is the gist of what I was saying
2 hrs

neutral  Refugio: However, you are using neither and either as conjunctions here, when the question used it as a pronoun. That was Crumpler's confusion too.
5 hrs
  -> I am not confused. This is a clarification quoted from a grammar book!

agree  Krokodil: Far more succinct and to the point than all this long-winded waffle that's been going on ...
5 hrs
  -> thanks a lot!

agree  Christopher Crockett: All "your" examples work for me, Yelena. But, then, I'm *very* old fashioned and happen to believe that language reflects thought --and that sloppy language reflects sloppy thought. It's not a question of "rules" or "changes" in the language at all.
7 hrs

neutral  xxxY: Refugio is right - your 4 examples are irrelevant (conjunctions instead of pronouns). Your book is talking about a different use from the one discussed here.
6 days
  -> see the first example pls
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Neither ... nor ...


Explanation:
After all this, neither you nor I are (am?) any the wiser, I guess ...

Krokodil
Germany
Local time: 19:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
47 mins
  -> Do I get the 4 points, then?

neutral  Bryan Crumpler: Why was the question asked??? Re: I really can't understand the following somewhat pointless debate on something which is so blindingly obvious.
7 hrs

neutral  xxxY: Might be blindingly obvious to our resident balloon deflater, even if he's got it wrong.
7 hrs
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22 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Either is acceptable on the general scope...


Explanation:
[edited Tues. Oct 29 2002 6:15pm EST]

...and this is why. I _have_ to say this for clarification because "is" is the correct answer, but the [initial reason] given was shaky.

"Neither" is a combination of "not either"... NOT "not either one" as previous people have suggested. The "one" is assumed because "either" is the "exclusive or" meaning you have one or the other, but not both. "either" therefore is considered the opposite of "both".

To say that the so-called, understood "one" is what implies that you should use "is" is w-r-o-n-g. The facts against this is that the _real_ word that implies "one" is "none". The word "none" is _literally_ the combination of "not one". When we say "not one is responsible" it's fine. However when we condense "not one" to "none" then it takes on the plural.... "None _are_ responsible". This is indisputably correct, so saying the assumed "one" is the reason is a faulty argument.

When using "neither" you have the same options as you do with [its] positive form "either". In this case you have the option of omitting the prepositional phrase "of you" which makes it clear that "neither" is acting as the subject. The truth of the matter is, "neither [...] is" and "neither [...] are" are both suitable. The argument that "one" is implied after the "neither" here is irrelevant, chiefly because of what I just said. "Neither" is a combination of "not either", and "either" as a subject by rule takes on the singular. ONLY WHEN "either" and "neither" are modifying other nouns in the "neither...or" or "either...or" situation can you use the plural.

"Either the puppy or the twins seemS to need my attention every other minute" is what would be the case if you make the assumption that "one" is here. But this sentence is wrong. Actually it should be "Either the puppy or the twins seem (without the s) to need my attention every other minute". The verb should agree with the most plural noun it's modifying in the "(n)either...or" situation. This is a case where "neither [...] are" would be suitable.

[ In the interest of keeping focus on the grammatical clarification, the Notes over the debate concerning whether or not logic supercedes grammar rules has been removed - peer gradings have been forfeited ]


    Reference: http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~brians/errors/eitherare.html
Bryan Crumpler
United States
Local time: 13:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 56
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