I have bought two books but I haven't read [either - neither - both - all] of them.

Is both choice correct? I know that either sounds more reasonable.

  • 1
    If you say you haven't read both of them, you are saying that you have read one of them. Jun 25 '20 at 13:02
  • @BruceMurray How ?! I haven't read both of them means I haven't read both of them. Can you explain more? Jun 25 '20 at 13:24
  • Ahh, the subtlety of the English language! I have bought two books but I haven't read either of them = both books remain unread................I have bought two books but I haven't both of them = you are implying that you've read one of the books but not both. Jun 25 '20 at 13:52

The word which both makes best idiomatic sense and is grammatically accurate is "either".

"I haven't read neither of them" uses a double negative, and so is incorrect.

"I haven't read all of them" is incorrect because you don't use "all" when there are only two objects.

Now, "I haven't read both of them" is grammatically correct, but does not sound natural. Unless it is in answer to a specific question as to progress, and in that case, "both" would be emphasised. "I haven't read both of them yet, but I've finished one, and I've nearly finished the other one."

So it all depends on what you are trying to say.

If this is a multiple choice exam of which you are allowed to select only one option, then I would select "either", but it's a bad question.

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