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I don't like either/both of them

 
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 10:38 pm
1. I saw two pictures on the wall. I did not like either of them.

2. I saw two pictures on the wall. I did not like both of them.

I believe the first sentence is correct, buy why is the second wrong.

Many thanks.



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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 21,358 • Replies: 14

 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 01:49 pm
@tanguatlay,
Quote:
1. I saw two pictures on the wall. I did not like either of them.

2. I saw two pictures on the wall. I did not like both of them.

I believe the first sentence is correct, buy why is the second wrong.


It's not "wrong", Ms Tan. In this type of situation, we would normally reserve 'both' for positive statements.

2a. I saw two pictures on the wall. I liked both of them.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:56 pm
@JTT,
Many thanks, JTT.

Am I right to say that 'I saw two pictures on the wall. I did not like both of them' is not wrong if I choose to write it that way?

FreeDuck
 
  3  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 04:11 pm
@tanguatlay,
If you did not like both of them, then perhaps you liked one of them? That's why we say 'either'.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 04:17 pm
@FreeDuck,

Good point, Freeduck. Respect.

(I can see you have a devious mind!)
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 04:26 pm
@McTag,
I did not like both of them means I like one of them.
To non-natives, it would appear absurd because ' I don't both of them' implies that I don't like either of them.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 05:23 pm
@tanguatlay,
FreeDuck does have a point, Ms Tan, but it needs a context to help make sense of it.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 08:49 pm
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT.

I understand that FreeDuck is correct in what he said, but most non-natives whose command of English is poor will think that he is saying something which is not correct.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:55 pm
@tanguatlay,
In print, probably but such a collocation can even fool native speakers. With context, I think you might find that it wouldn't be that tough to understand.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 03:38 am
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT.

I am Surprised even native speakers can be fooled by the sentence.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 09:50 am
@tanguatlay,
I think that people would understand you if you said "I don't like both of them". The word "both" takes two things and makes them one. Both girls went to the movies. If both girls did not go to the movies, that still leaves open the possibility that one of them did. If you say you don't like both of the paintings, that tells me that you don't like them taken together. But it still leaves open the possibility that you like one, but not the two taken together. That's why when we negate what happens to "both" we take care to negate each. Does that make sense? It's really a very minor thing and you would probably be understand regardless.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:07 pm
@FreeDuck,
I like both paintings.
I dislike both paintings.
I don't like either painting.


tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:42 pm
@contrex,
Hi Contrex
Quote:
I dislike both paintings.
I don't like either painting.


It's interesting. It requires a negative verb 'dislike' if 'both' is used.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:50 pm
@tanguatlay,
Quote:
It's interesting. It requires a negative verb 'dislike' if 'both' is used.


Well, not really, Ms Tan though certainly normally. Obviously, the normal neutral is 'both' with positives and 'either' with negatives. There are times when you could hear,

I don't like both

I can such a scenario where the speaker emphasizes each word, sort of a denial to what someone else has just said.
0 Replies
 
mynameisoops
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2016 12:58 am
@tanguatlay,
The second sentence is wrong (or at least not natural) , because we don't use "both" in negative sentences/structures. We say "I didn't like either of them." or "I liked neither of them."
0 Replies
 
 

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