Is it legal to use has in the following question?

Would you tell me please whether either my friend Joey or me has to visit the manager tomorrow?

Or, instead, should I use have rather than has?


I think that 'either' here is being used in the sense that it is Joey, or 'me' (not both). So, the proper conjugation of the verb to have would be has.

You would generally use plural when you have 'either of', for example:

Would you tell me please whether either of us have to visit the manager tomorrow?

  • Jerry, welcome and +1. I like the disjunctive argument, in which one excludes the other. Congratulations! – user114 May 11 '13 at 15:55
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    @Carlo_R. There's no straightforward rule; either can be singular or plural depending on the situation. In my example, either of us has a plural component 'us'. This goes the same way with either of them, either of the students, etc. either gets singular when it's clear it's part of a singular phrase or by itself, e.g. "Either is fine.", "Either one will do." Even with these though, you might be finding differences among speakers. – Jerry May 11 '13 at 17:27
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    @Jerry. I disagree with the second part of your answer, and with parts of your comment reply to Carlo. either of us is the same as one of us - both are singular, so it's one of us has to visit or either of us has to visit. Only one person is visiting. Same as Fred or Mike has to visit. – TrevorD May 11 '13 at 23:57
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    @Smolina. Now I'm confused as to what you are trying to say. From your question I thought you mean (1) Joey visits the manager, OR (2) You visit the manager. From your recent comment, you seem to be saying it's (3) Joey AND you visit, OR (4) Joey visits alone. Please clarify. – TrevorD May 12 '13 at 0:02
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    @SmolinaFezaphitsh I'm not telling you to us us. I'm telling you to use either my friend Joey or me has. – Jerry May 12 '13 at 7:40

I'm not sure your sentence is valid English where you use "me":

either my friend Joey or me has to visit ...

either my friend Joey or I has to visit ...

If I'm correct we should answer in reference the I version, and, if so, the use of has sounds awkward (third person) after I (first person).

So use have, but do not generalize the argument I proposed because sometimes it doesn't work.

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    I think you are theoretically correct that it should be I rather than me, but I think most people (at least in UK usage) would say either Joey or me .... What might be better is to rephrase it, e.g. Joey has to visit the manager tomorrow, or I have to. – TrevorD May 11 '13 at 23:49
  • I agree with TrevorD. But the fact is many people say: Either x or me, but in any case, the verb would be in the singular. – Lambie Feb 14 '18 at 15:37
  • Its Valid English. It's merely invalid latin, but English isn't Latin. newrepublic.com/article/77732/… – Mercury00 Sep 25 '18 at 17:55

Every of you is wrong

for instance in the first case

  1. Would you please tell me whether(if) either of my friends, Joey or I have to visit the manager tomorrow?

you take as reference or subject agreement the one that is closer to the conjunction "or" in this case is have

  1. Would you tell me please whether either of us has to visit the manager tomorrow?

in this case as the first one we have an exception anytime we have each, every, and either or neither we use the verb in singular in this case "has" rather than have which would have more sense at first but it's grammatically incorrect.

  1. either my friend Joey or I(me) have(has) to visit ... We use I instead of me because it's not a comparison and there is no a verb either. plus the verb have cuz' we take the closest one since the rule says.

the right question is

Would you tell me please whether either of my friends Joey or I have to visit the manager tomorrow? aslo we lack another friend to use either Joeu and who else??? .

Alex O'connor Msc.on Foreign Languages I am irish

  • This seems to be seriously garbled -- perhaps you were posting from a cranky smartphone? – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 15 '16 at 1:24

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