Learning the smaller points of English can be tricky (hard)- especially when it comes to words like also, too, and either. These three words may seem to say the same thing, but they’re all a little different.
Here you can find some explanations (definitions, reasons), as well as some practice sentences for you to try on your own (by yourself)!
Also, Too, and Either- a summary
Negative idea + agree = either
Positive idea + agree (end of sentence)= too
Positive idea + agree (middle of sentence) = also
Either is used in negative sentences, and adds an agreeing idea or thought.
Either usually comes at the end of a clause or sentence and uses a comma before it. While it might sound weird to use either in a negative sentence to agree with something, it’s actually easy and very normal.
Take a look at these examples:
- Jane does not play the piano. I do not play the piano, either. (You’re saying that Jane doesn’t play piano, and you also don’t play the piano.)
- The family didn’t go to the movies, and we didn’t go, either. We went out to dinner.
- Sammy can’t come to the party. Now Alex has just texted to say that he can’t come, either!
- My mom doesn’t like sushi. My boyfriend doesn’t like sushi, either. When I want to eat sushi, I have to go on my own (by myself, alone).
When we say an “agreeing” idea or thought, you are agreeing that you don’t like something or aren’t able to do something.
Also is used in positive sentences to agree with something from the previous clause (something written/said earlier). It is placed before the main verb in a clause or sentence, EXCEPT if you’re using the verb “to be.”
- Her boyfriend speaks German. She also speaks German.
- We were also there last night. (verb-to be)
- They like sushi. My mom also likes sushi.
- I live in Hamburg, but I have also lived in Stuttgart and Berlin.
Too works the same way as also, but its placement is different- it goes in a different place in the sentence. Too is placed (put, located) at the end of a sentence or a clause, and gets a comma before it.
Check out these examples:
- I worked in that restaurant, too.
- Our train to the airport was late, and the line for security was really long, too!
- Please sign these forms, and ask your colleague to sign them, too.
- My sister lives in London, too!
Now that you know the basics of these words, why not try some practice on your own?
Fill in the sentences with one word: also, too, and either:
1) I love the summer. My brother _______ loves the summer.
2) My son plays the piano very well. My daughter does, ______.
3) We wanted to go to the movies last night. Our friends canceled, and our babysitter didn’t show up, _________.
4) She doesn’t really like baseball. He doesn’t like baseball, ______.
5) They thought the apartment was pretty small. They ________ thought it was too dark.
6) Sarah is taking an art class. Kathleen is _____ taking that art class.
7) I’m going to France next weekend. I have a guidebook, and I have a phrasebook, _____. I think I’ll be fine.
8) We loved the film. Tony did, _____.
9) They want to go to Budapest. We _______ want to go.
10) She is very tired and doesn’t want to go out. He doesn’t want to go out tonight, ______.
Answers: 1) also 2) too 3) either 4) either 5) also 6) also 7) too 8) too 9) also 10) either
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Looking for more grammar? Try Tricky Adjectives and Adverbs, when to use Which and That, Order of Adjectives, Its vs It’s, and Present Continuous tense!
Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, and also a yoga instructor. She likes other languages, like Irish, too! But, like Crystal, she’s not a big fan of football, either!
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