25

I pronounce 'ei' in 'either' like in German (so, like 'I' in English). This is natural for me.

But I've heard people pronouncing it as 'eee', so which version is correct? Or maybe both are correct?

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    How is it possible that no one has answered this question with the word "either"? – J.T. Grimes Feb 14 '13 at 0:50
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    @J.T.Grimes. I just came here to do that. – TRiG Feb 18 '13 at 1:28
20

Both are correct.

Ee-ther /ˈiːð.ə(ɹ)/ tends to be more common in the United States, but it would not be wrong to use aye-ther /ˈaɪð.ə(ɹ)/.

Whichever way you choose to pronounce it, you should not have trouble being understood.

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    +1. note that if an american says /ˈaɪð.ə(ɹ)/ it sometimes is rejected as phony or trying to be british. – hunter Dec 17 '13 at 17:08
  • @hunter: +1 for your comment. Do most British people use /ˈaɪð.ə(ɹ)/? – Safira Jan 5 '14 at 23:23
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    I actually pronounce it both ways, depending on the situation. "You'll have to either do this or that" I would use the long i ("eye"), but "I would accept either one" I would use a long e ("ee"). Weird, I know. – Wayne Feb 13 '14 at 21:01
3

This is a classic case of dialects.

Both pronunciations are correct, however the one a person uses depends on their upbringing, their region and their preference.

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    If your native language is English, it all depends on where you grew up. If you're learning to speak English, try to remember to use the same pronunciation for "neither". – barbara beeton Jan 23 '13 at 21:30
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    I don't think this is really a matter of dialect (or upbringing). Vast numbers of native speakers (myself included) use both forms, and would be hard-pressed to even guess which one they use more often. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 27 '13 at 22:27
  • I deliberately and consciously say Ee-ther (and nee-ther) just as I deliberately always pronounce often as offen. I was taught in 6th grade how to pronounce often, and that's how I've always pronounced it, despite the numbers of people around me who "mispronouce" it. – user6951 Oct 12 '14 at 23:43
1

I think the British use ei-ther as the pronunciation, and the Americans use eee-ther.

I use UK English, but I use both forms occasionally.

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