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Does it mean I don't want (also) ? Or I don't want one of these two options or choices?

If either is pronoun, it must implies that there's a choice between two things. If it's an adverb, I think the meaning might be like "too" in affirmative sentences like: " I'm not happy too "

I can make assumptions based on my incomplete studies but I cannot verify my thoughts so I need your help. Am I right?

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    We would need context to answer that. It can be either, though it should probably be "I don't want (it) either" for it to be a confirmation of also not wanting it. Jul 10, 2023 at 11:00
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    It could be used to refuse both of two: "Do you want tea or coffee?" "No, I don't want either" - the person does not want any drink. But please provide more context. It can also be used in the sense you say: "I'm not happy either" means "I'm not happy, and you've said you're not happy". Here "either" is used when you have a negative sentence, and "too" with a positive sentence.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 10, 2023 at 11:12
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    I cannot see how it could possibly be used to mean "I also don't want (something)." Want is almost always a transitive verb, so it needs an object (the thing that you want), and the only word after it here is either, so that looks like the object.
    – stangdon
    Jul 10, 2023 at 11:52
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    @stangdon I think that should be the answer to the question, I guess the case that you mention that is not possible is when the original statement is "I don't want ..." and the answer instead of "I don't want either" should be "Me neither", and probably this is what the OP is asking? Jul 10, 2023 at 12:13
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    Although it's a relatively uncommon usage, there's nothing syntactically or logically incorrect about But I don't want either , I want both. Jul 10, 2023 at 13:04

2 Answers 2

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Normally one would say this if offered a choice of two things, and you don't want the first thing and you also don't want the second thing.

Like, "Do you want a hamburger or a hot dog?" "I don't want either. I'm a vegetarian."

Your other suggestion is possible but very unlikely. If someone said, "Bob finally got a job. He is no longer in want", you might reply, "I don't want, either". You'd have to be using "want" in the sense of "being in need", i.e. being very poor. And you'd need a comma between "want" and "either". It would be a grammatically correct sentence but not something that a fluent English speaker would be likely to say.

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Contrast it to the statement, "You can have either (one)." This means that the giver doesn't care which one you want, so you can take your pick.

To say, "I don't want either." the speaker doesn't care which one is offered - he or she doesn't want it. An alternative form, which you might find easier, is, "I want neither (one)."

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  • So you mean there are two or three particular offered options and you don't care which one is offered and this unwillingness of your choice means choosing neither? Is this correct? Jul 10, 2023 at 14:14
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    @KavehBehnia - Sorry for being uncllear. Let's say you hate food A, and you hate food B. You go to a restaurant and are asked, "Would you like A or B?" The natural response would be, "I don't want either." Jul 10, 2023 at 14:25
  • Wow thanks for the guide, but what about "neither" ? I cannot understand the main difference between these two words Jul 10, 2023 at 14:34
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    @KavehBehnia - To say "I want neither (one)" means, "I don't want either (one)." It just allows you to choose where in the sentence you put the negative, either on the verb (I don't want), or on the choice (neither). Saying, "I don't want neither (one)" is a double negative, and don't do it. Jul 10, 2023 at 14:41

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