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Do ____ of you have any money I can borrow?

a. both b. either c. neither

I answer a.both but it is incorrect. The right answer is either. I don't understand. Please help me why a. can't be the answer.

Thank you

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Do both of you have any money I can borrow?

This is not grammatically incorrect. However, you would be asking if Person 1 AND Person 2 both have money for you to borrow. The "correct answer" is assuming that you don't need both people to lend you money.

Do either of you have any money I can borrow?

Given the situation, this logically makes more sense, as you would now be asking if one of Person 1 OR Person 2 have money. In order for you to borrow money, you only need one of them to lend you it.

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When you say do both of you have any money?, you are asking if both people can give you money, not just one person. You only need to borrow money from one of the two people.

Either is the correct answer when looking for one or the other. Do either of you know how to swim for example is asking if one or the other knows how to swim. This fits the question, because you don’t need money from both people, just one.

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Do either of you have any money I can borrow?

is correct. The money could come from person 1, person 2, or both of them (in case either one does not have enough money).

both implies an action that involves both parties. For example:

Can both of you go to the store?

it means that they will do the action together. So:

Do both of you have any money I can borrow?

implies that they have joint money (money owned by both of them), which wouldn't be likely.

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