3

Let's take an example.

Person A writes an answer for a question and another person answers the same question in another way. But their answers are contradicting each other. Let's say I see this and I want to bring that to their notice. So should I write:

Both of your answers are contradicting each other

OR

Both your answers are contradicting each other.

I feel like I'm missing something here because when I read my response, I feel like I'm mentioning about 2 answers written by one person. I would like some help here.

2

each other makes it clear that you are talking about two answers, and so it is not necessary to say both of. If the each other part were missing, both of would be necessary, for example:

Both of your answers are wrong.

The context of this sentence would indicate whether you are talking to just one person about their two answers, or to two people who each gave one answer.


To answer your question: when you use both before a determiner (a, the, his, your etc), it is usual in British English to say both of. The of is never added if there is no determiner, or if you use both... and...

Both answers are wrong
Your answer is both wrong and badly written
Both your answer and her answer are wrong

See the Cambridge dictionary for further examples.

Note that contradict in this context describes something that is a permanent state- something that will always be true. As such, we used present simple rather than present continuous. The correct sentence would therefore be:

Your answers contradict each other

  • Nice answer. Niggle: there is nothing special about contradict which prevents the use of the present continuous. It is the fact that we are talking about written texts that prevents the continuous: * On page five it is saying that the war ended in 1918 versus On page five it says that the war ended in 1918. Written text always says what it says, it doesn't just say it at the moment! – Araucaria - Not here any more. Apr 20 '18 at 11:16
  • @Araucaria: I don't actually mean that contradict always and exclusively requires present simple. It can definitely be used in present continuous: for example, in a conversation when you say something and somebody else says the opposite, you would ask "Are you contradicting me?", rather than "Do you contradict me?". I have updated my answer to clarify that I am talking about the current context. – JavaLatte Apr 21 '18 at 6:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.