Either you tell me the truth or I will beat you.

I'd like to know whether "you" after "Either" can be used or not. Can we omit the first "you", as in:

Either tell me the truth or I will beat you.

  • I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. What do you mean by option? The two options here are "You tell me the truth" and "I will beat you."
    – Alex K
    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:08
  • thein Iwin - In the future, please edit your question to clarify it, rather than clarifying in the comments. That way, people will be able to understand your question without reading the discussion below it.
    – J.R.
    Jan 24, 2016 at 11:49

2 Answers 2


Without the first you it would be implicitly understood that you are asking the person you are speaking to for the truth.

The sentences are equivalent.

Either you tell me the truth or I will beat you.
Either tell me the truth or I will beat you.

  • Thanks a lot, Peter. you mean the first "you" is optional?
    – thein lwin
    Jan 24, 2016 at 11:25
  • Correct, assuming you are speaking directly to someone. Have edited my answer.
    – Peter
    Jan 24, 2016 at 11:28

I think the OP means wants to say what will heppen if you don't do a specified thing. If so, the use of either..or in both sentences seems to be unidiomatic. The correct sentences should be as follows:

Tell me the truth, or else I'll beat you.

Tell me the truth or I'll beat you.

Tell me the truth, otherwise I'll beat you.

However, if you are talking about two alternatives, you can use either before you as follows:

Either you tell me the truth or keep quiet.

Either you or I am going.

  • I don't agree. Both possibilities seem fully idiomatic to me.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 24, 2016 at 22:14
  • Many things in language are redundant (i.e. unnecessary). That doesn't mean that people don't say them.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:47
  • @Colin Fine, if it's idiomatic to you (native speaker), I agree with you.
    – Khan
    Jan 25, 2016 at 16:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .