If somebody tells me :

Do you like summer or winter ?

Is it correct if I answer :


Or am I forced to say :

Both of them.

Thank you.

  • 2
    Just both is fine, and likely more casual. Both of them is also fine, though. – jimsug May 28 '14 at 15:16
  • @jimsug: I don't see that adding "of them" makes the response any less "casual". It's still just a "cut-down" reply with no subject or verb, after all. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 28 '14 at 20:59
  • Did they use rising or falling intonation? – snailcar May 28 '14 at 21:17

As @jimsug said, they are both fine.

The word both functions as a pronoun in both of your responses: "Both." and "Both of them."

I'd like to quote this explanation along with an important usage note from Macmillan dictionary:

Both can be used in the following ways:
as a determiner (followed by a noun, but not by a pronoun): Both children are at school.
as a predeterminer (followed by a word such as "the," "this," "his," etc.): I like both these pictures. ♦ Both her children are boys.
as a pronoun: Both arrived at the same time. (followed by "of"): Both of them are learning English. (after a noun or pronoun subject): The twins both have black hair. (following a pronoun object): I like them both. (after a modal or auxiliary verb, or after the verb "to be"): We can both speak Spanish. ♦ They are both good singers.
in the expression both...and...: a method that is both simple and effective

Usage note: both
Do not use both in negative sentences. Use neither: Neither of my parents wanted me to leave school (=my mother did not and my father did not).

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.