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Whether out of avarice or out of need, he asked for a much higher price for property than it was worth.

At my Grammar book, there has written sometimes you can use the followings instead of each other:

Either...or

Whether...or

I would like to know when it is possible? and when not?

And, would you help me with meaning of the sentence above, so that I can understand what it means?

Thanks in advanced.

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The difference is one of emphasis. If you say "whether out of avarice or need", you are drawing attention to the distinction between the two possible explanations. If you say "either out of avarice or need", you are drawing attention to the two explanations themselves, rather than the differences between them.

As for the meaning, the sentence could be rephrased like this:

He asked for a much higher price for property than it was worth. I can think of two possible reasons: either he was greedy ("avarice") and wanted as much money as he could get, or he was poor ("need") and needed as much money as he could get.

  • Well done. Your explanations are always Great. Thank you all so much. – nima Apr 14 '14 at 15:06

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