Reply to "Both/neither"

islam mohamed posted:

“ .........of my parents are at home today. It is a holiday.”                
 A) neither    B) both     C) all      D ) each  
This is a question in our Longman course book “ new hello ” in a mock exam. I think “ neither” and “ both “ are correct answers.

Hello, Islam Mohamed,

The answer is "both." "Neither" can be rejected both for a syntactic reason and for a semantic reason. (I assume you know how to reject "all" and "each.")

As for the syntactic reason, "neither" traditionally takes a singular verb when it heads a phrase, but the verb here is plural ("are"), not singular ("is").

As for the semantic reason, it is natural for people to be at home on holidays. Yes, many people go on vacations, but the idea here is that they're not at work.

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