Yesterday, I came across this sentence:

"I have attended different english language courses in the USA and Great Britain both."

Is this a correct use of the word "both"? If not, how should the sentence be structured?

  • The sentence you're asking about uses both correctly, though in the US (where I'm from) it might seem a little unusual. It strikes me as British. (It should be the USA, though, and USA should be all caps.) – phoog Nov 28 '16 at 22:47
  • To my BrE ear it doesn't sound unnatural at all, if anything slightly formal. Other than that, using both at the end of a sentence like that is perfectly acceptable. – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 28 '16 at 22:49
  • Sorry, but I still say it's incorrect given the context. I'm not saying you can't use 'both' at the end of a sentence, I'm saying it sounds incorrect based on its context. 'Movie A and movie B came out last night, we watched them both.' This is one such example. Of course, if the sentence presented by the OP was taken from a piece of seventy year old British literature, then perhaps it's just ignorance on my part. I'm not well versed in the classics. – Josh Campbell Nov 28 '16 at 23:11
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    @BladorthinTheGrey To my British ear it sounds grammatical but rather old fashioned, or possibly even pretentious. There also seems to be something awkward about the sentence as a whole, but I can't put my finger on what it is. I think it's related to the relative complexity of the first part of the sentence. – BoldBen Nov 29 '16 at 5:48

Yes, it's fine. "Both" in your example is a floated quantifier -- the quantifier of a noun phrase is converted to an adverb, which winds up somewhere after the noun phrase. Details differ, but "all" and "each" can sometimes float, also.


I have attended different language courses in both the USA and Great Britain.

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    While this answer is correct, it fails to note that the sentence being asked about is also correct, at least as far as the use of both. – phoog Nov 28 '16 at 22:46

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