She'll either pay for the ring or return it.

She either will pay for the ring or will return it.

Could anybody possibly tell me if they are the same and right?

Moreover, which one do you use?


Both versions are "valid", but in constructions involving an auxiliary verb (to be here forming a "future" tense), the word either normally comes between the auxiliary and the main verb. That's still the case if the auxiliary verb isn't contracted ("She will either pay...")

Here are a couple of thousand written instances of "He either will have" showing that the form is used (but note there are 77,900 instances of the more common "He will either have").

Note that this principle assumes either is being used to modify the verb (she'll either pay or return). If it modifies a noun it will normally come after the verb (as in "She'll pay for either the ring or the necklace").

TL;DR: There's a certain amount of flexibility in the positioning of either, but the tendency is to place it immediately before the main verb or the first (of two) nouns, depending on which it modifies.

  • Thanks. So, which one do you usually use?
    – nima
    Apr 13 '14 at 14:20
  • @nima: Just like (nearly) every other native speaker, I normally place "either" immediately before whatever word (verb or noun) it modifies. As set out in the final sentence above. But either you do the same, or you start getting "creative" (as in this sentence! :). Seriously, just stick to the TL;DR principle. Apr 13 '14 at 14:27
  • So, finally, both of my instances are used. And, I can both of them everywhere. Am I right?
    – nima
    Apr 14 '14 at 14:54
  • @nima: I don't think that's a very helpful way of looking at it, no. Your second example is sufficiently "unusual" that most people will simply take it as evidence that you're not a native speaker. You can either accept or ignore this advice, but I would urge you to consider the fact that Google Books has almost 4000 written instances of that form (but none at all for the non-standard version placing "either" before the auxiliary "can"). You really should go with the (vast) majority every time. Apr 14 '14 at 15:12

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