Me Either or Me Neither: Choosing the Right Response in Daily Conversations

In everyday conversation, we often find ourselves in situations where we need to express agreement with a negative statement. In English, the phrases “me neither” and “me either” are commonly used for this purpose. Correct usage of these phrases can be a bit confusing because they are colloquial expressions, and their use can be influenced by regional dialects. So, Me Either or Me Neither?

Me Either or Me Neither: The Main Differences

Key Takeaways

  • These phrases are used to agree with negative statements.
  • “Me neither” is the preferred choice, while “me either” may be considered ungrammatical. 
  • Context and regional dialects influence the choice between the two.

Me Either or Me Neither: Choosing the Right Response in Daily Conversations Pin

Understanding the Basics

Understanding the phrases “me either” and “me neither” is critical for clear communication in situations of agreement or shared sentiments, particularly in negative contexts.

Grammatical Rules

Me neither” is a contraction of “I do not either,” which is used to express agreement with a negative statement. For example, if someone says, “I don’t like ice cream,” you can respond with “Me neither,” to agree. It’s important to note that “me either” is often considered incorrect in formal writing but can occur colloquially as an informal way to agree with a negative statement, especially in American English.

Conversational Context

In conversation, we use these phrases to show empathy or solidarity. When we hear someone express a negative sentiment, responding with “me neither” can instantly create a sense of camaraderie. For instance:

  • Person 1: “I can’t understand this instruction manual.”
  • Person 2: “Me neither. It’s really confusing.”

Negative Agreement

Our use of “me neither” highlights negative agreement—you are agreeing with someone else’s negative statement or sentiment. Here is a quick reference:

Negative Statement Agreement Response
I don’t enjoy jogging. Me neither.
I haven’t been to Paris. Me neither.
I couldn’t understand him. Me neither.

Conversely, “me either” can be used in casual speech, following a similar pattern but remains less common in writing.

Me Either or Me Neither: Examples in Context

Examples of ‘Me Neither’

In Agreement to Negative Statements: When someone expresses a negative statement, “me neither” is the appropriate response to show agreement.

Negative Statement Appropriate Response
“I don’t like cold weather.” “Me neither.”
“I can’t understand the directions.” “Me neither.”

Usage with Singular Subjects: “Me neither” is commonly used when both the speaker and listener are referring to themselves as individual subjects.

  • Friend: “I haven’t seen the new movie yet.”
  • You: “Me neither, I plan to go this weekend.”

Examples of ‘Me Either’

In Agreement to Negative Statements with a Positive twist: Although “me neither” is more common, some dialects use “me either” similarly to agree with negative statements but with a slight positive twist.

Negative Statement Possible Positive Response
“I don’t like going out much.” “Me either, I prefer staying in.”

Usage in Informal Situations: The usage of “me either” is typically more informal and often heard in casual conversations.

  • Coworker: “I can’t stay late tonight for the meeting.”
  • You: “Me either, I have other commitments.”

Variations in English Dialects

We often encounter differences in the way certain phrases are used across English dialects, particularly when comparing American and British English. These distinctions can affect our understanding and usage of expressions such as “me either” and “me neither.”

American vs. British Usage

“Me neither” is a common phrase used to agree with a negative statement in both American and British English. For instance:

  • American: “I don’t like spinach.”
  • British: “Me neither.”

However, when it comes to affirmative agreements, Americans might use “me either” in casual conversation, though it is considered nonstandard. On the other hand, British speakers rarely use “me either,” preferring to rephrase the sentiment.

Regional Differences

Within American and British English, regional variations further influence how “me either” and “me neither” are used.

  • Northeastern United States: “Me neither” is prevalent, and “me either” is rarely heard.
  • Southern United States: You may come across unique constructions such as “Nor I” as an equivalent to “me neither.”

In the UK, regional dialects can vary significantly:

  • Southern England: “Me neither” is the standard, following Received Pronunciation rules.
  • Northern England and Scotland: Variations often reflect local dialects, with phrases like “Nor me” being used similarly.

Our exploration shows just how nuanced English can be, with even simple phrases like “me either” and “me neither” subject to a patchwork of regional variations.

Related Confused Words With Me Either or Me Neither

Me Neither vs. Me Too

“Me Neither” and “Me Too” are both common conversational expressions used to express agreement, but they convey agreement in different ways.

“Me Too” is used to express that the speaker shares the same sentiment, feeling, or experience as the person they are responding to. For example, if someone says “I really enjoyed the movie,” the response “Me too” indicates that the speaker also enjoyed the movie.

On the other hand, “Me Neither” is used to express that the speaker also does not share the sentiment, feeling, or experience as the person they are responding to. For example, if someone says “I didn’t like the movie,” the response “Me neither” indicates that the speaker also did not like the movie.

Me Either vs. Me Too

“Me either” is commonly used in informal English to express agreement or similarity, particularly in response to a negative statement. For example, if someone says “I don’t like coffee,” the response “Me either” indicates that the speaker also shares the sentiment of not liking coffee.

On the other hand, “Me too” is used to express agreement or similarity with a positive statement. For example, if someone says “I really enjoyed the movie,” the response “Me too” indicates that the speaker also shares the sentiment of enjoying the movie.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct usage of ‘me neither’ and when should it be used?

“Me neither” is used to agree with a negative statement made by someone else. For instance, if someone says, “I don’t like cold weather,” you can respond with “Me neither” to express that you also do not like cold weather.

In what scenarios is ‘me either’ used appropriately, and is it different from ‘me too’?

“Me either” isn’t standard in affirmative responses; “me too” is the correct expression to show agreement with a positive statement. However, “me either” can sometimes be heard in casual American English as a colloquial way to agree with a negative statement, similar to “me neither.”

How does the use of ‘me either’ or ‘me neither’ differ between American and British English?

In American English, “me neither” is the common phrase to agree with negative statements. In contrast, British English typically uses “me neither” formally, but it is not uncommon to hear “nor do I” as a more formal alternative.

Can you explain the difference between ‘me neither’ in English and its equivalent in Spanish?

In Spanish, the equivalent of “me neither” is “yo tampoco,” which means “I also don’t.” It is used in the same context as “me neither,” agreeing with a negative statement previously made by someone else.

When faced with a negative statement, should I reply with ‘I can’t wait either’ or ‘I can’t wait neither’?

In response to a negative statement, the correct reply would be “I can’t wait either.” This indicates that you are in agreement with the sentiment expressed. “I can’t wait neither” is grammatically incorrect because it doubles the negation.

What is the proper grammatical context for choosing ‘either’ or ‘neither’ in a sentence?

Choose “either” when making a negative statement or offering a choice between two items, as in “I don’t want either option.” Use “neither” to indicate not one nor the other in a pair, or to agree with a negative statement, like “Neither option is appealing” or “He didn’t call, and neither did I.”

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Last Updated on December 27, 2023

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