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I came across the following in an English teaching video:

If someone gives you two options to choose from but you really don't care which one, you can say "Either, either". (pronounced /i:ðə/ and /ˈaɪðə/, respectively)
YouTube video

Does using "which one" alone sound fine here?
As far as I know, we drop nouns or phrases when we want to avoid repeating them but the implication in the quoted sentence seems to be similar to "you don't care which one the other person chooses" and not "which one to choose".

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    Though there’s nothing wrong about the sentence you quote, it’s a bit awkward. Better would have been “..but you really don’t have a preference.” In any event, its meaning is that the choice makes no difference to you. Oct 27, 2023 at 22:13
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    Not relevant to the question, but "Either, either" would be an odd response. The repetition of "either" seems artificial. "Either, either" is not a fixed idiom in English.
    – James K
    Oct 27, 2023 at 23:53
  • Why do you think the implication is "...which one the other person chooses"?
    – gotube
    Oct 28, 2023 at 0:29
  • You can say "either one" but not "either either". Oct 28, 2023 at 0:40
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    @Mohammad There's nothing about other people when you are given a choice. If you come to my house and I ask you if you want coffee or tea, I'll probably drink the same as you, not the other one.
    – gotube
    Nov 2, 2023 at 6:56

2 Answers 2

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That sentence is natural for a native speaker to produce, and anyone would understand it, but it's actually not grammatically correct.

The clause "You don't really care which one" is quite common, and uses ellipsis to avoid repeating words earlier in the context.

Let's start with a typical use for it which is correct:

If someone asks you which shirt you want to wear, but you really don't care which one...

In this case, "which one" really means "which one you wear". The "you wear" part can be elided because it's already in the first part of the sentence.

It also works with verbs that are implied by the context:

If someone asks you to choose between two restaurants, but you really don't care which one...

Here, we can easily understand that "which one" means "which one you eat at".

But in the sentence you found in that video, we can't know what to put after "which one". Put another way, we don't know what actions are appropriate for the "option" objects, so there's nothing that can fill this blank:

If someone gives you two options to choose from but you really don't care which one _____________...

THAT SAID, this is only technically ungrammatical because native speakers say this and understand it without even noticing, including the teacher in this video, who speaks very well. So, kudos to you for catching it, but it's not even worth a comment on the video.

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Not only is “I really don’t care which one” idiomatic (in many contexts), so is the even shorter “I really don’t care which.” Consider:

Thanks for offering a choice, but any of them would be fine. Please just give me one; I really don’t care which.”

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