Q & A of the Week 你问我答
Either 或者

Question and answer - I’ve found that there are two pronunciations for the word ‘either’, one with a long ‘e’ sound and another with a long ‘i’ sound. Any differences? - Robin from China

This week's question is about pronunciation of an English word. Do we say either with a long 'i' sound or either with a long 'e' sound?

Nuala, our BBC Learning English language expert, told us that we can use any of those pronunciations. One is not better than the other. When you're listening to native English speakers you will find that some will use one pronunciation and others will use another.

Nuala O'Sullivan, BBC Learning English
Nuala, our BBC Learning English language expert

There may be a slight difference between American English and British English. American English speakers tend to use the long 'e' when saying either and British English speakers tend to use the long 'i'.

There is no rule though and it doesn't affect the meaning of what you are saying. Nuala said the different pronunciations were interchangeable. The same rule applies to the pronunciation of the word neither.

Thank you Robin for your question. If you have a question please get in touch. You can email us at questions.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk. We'll answer one question every week, so get sending those questions!

Glossary 词汇


native English speakers

tend to


applies to

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