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Which is correct, “neither is” or “neither are”?

Which is correct?

No, neither of these websites is biased as they give a wide range of informative information without being one sided.

No, neither of these websites are biased as they give a wide range of informative information without being one sided.

I am confused about the subject-verb agreement here.

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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Oct 24 '12 at 11:15

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3 Answers

Neither is the subject (it is being used as a pronoun). It is generally singular, as evidenced in the sample usage at dictionary.com. So you should go with

No, neither of these websites is biased, as they both give a wide range of good information without being one-sided.

Note, however, as recorded in another EL&U question, that the pluralization depends on which two entities are being compared. In this case you are comparing one website with another website, so the singular is clearly called for; but if you were comparing one group of things with another group, the plural could be used:

Neither the Smiths nor the Wessons are available for dinner.

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As so often, ‘The Cambridge Guide to English Usage’, based as it is on corpus data, challenges the traditional view:

. . . research for the ‘Longman Grammar’ (1999) shows that the use of the plural verb is quite common. In fact singular and plural agreement have slightly different effects. Compare:

Neither director nor producer has much experience.

Neither director nor producer have much experience.

The singular verb seems to particularize while the plural one generalizes. The use of a plural verb there is as natural as it would be in a matching positive statement: Both director and producer have plenty of experience.

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In "English Grammar in Use (Intermediate, unit 88)", it is said that After Neither of .... a singular or plural verb is possible:

  • Neither of the children wants (or want) to go to bed.

Note: Neither restaurant & Neither of the restaurants

  • Neither restaurant is expensive.

  • Neither of the restaurants we went was (or were) expensive.

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Plural may be accepted in informal or vernacular English, but it is not correct grammar. –  Hellion Nov 11 '11 at 5:00
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