pronunciation of 'either'

I used to think that the word ‘either’ is pronounced as aɪðɚ in British English and iːðɚ in American English. Now I’ve heard Michael Beck read John Grisham’s “The Appeal” and he pronounced either the British way. How many Americans prefer the “British” pronunciation?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Employee asks co-worker for his suggestions on booking conference venue.[YSaerTTEW443543]

to me it’s always had the hard “th”, like in “bother” and “slither”

I don’t know anyone here – I’ve never talked to another USian – who pronounced it the same as “ether”.

Tom, so does ‘your either’ rhyme with ‘heater’ or with ‘lighter’?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Two friends meet after a long time and decide to have dinner with their respective spouses[YSaerTTEW443543]

I tend to say either, Torsten… that is, I use both. I think, /ai/ for stress, perhaps.

Hi Charles,

Does the same apply to ‘neither’?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Two friends update each other on their schedules[YSaerTTEW443543]

Yes (for me).

This is one of those phony items that is included in most of those phony lists of phony differences between British and American English. It’s not a British or American difference, because both pronunciations are used in both countries, and it can vary from region to region and speaker to speaker.

Some people say [aɪðər], some people say [iːðər], and some people say both. The variation can occur among people in the same neighborhood, people in the same family, and even within the speech of the same person based on rules that are probably very complex.


I’ve said it both ways. (I-ther and ee-ther)

In a pinch, or when i’m not thinking about it, i pronounce it ee-ther.

I use “ee-ther” most often. However, like Tom and MM, I also use both pronunciations. If the Cambridge Dictionary is to be believed, Brits also use both pronunciations.

It seems to me that the pronunciation of the final R would provide a bigger clue as to whether the speaker is a speaker of British English or not.

Or whether he is from Cornwall or Yorkshire. Or Ireland or New Zealand.

Right, Ralf. There are also regional variations in the US. In Boston and NYC, for example, the pronunciation of a final R often sounds quite different from what you’ll hear in most of the rest of the US.

How do you pronounce the first syllable in ‘either’?

Eether or ayether, but mostly eether. And I’ve learned to master the “th” as well :lol:

Do/Did you pronounce the word ‘either’ with some sort of special th sound? Or do you pronounce it the same way you pronounce the th in ‘weather’ or ‘that’?

People in Ireland don’t usually pronounce their tea hages. Number 33 sounds like “tirty tree”, that weather like “dat wedr”, and either like “eedr”. And the English have been taking the Michael since Richard III (de turd) :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah, that sounds a bit like the TH in parts of NYC.
33 1/3 = “turdy-tree and a turd” OR “toidy-tree and a toid”. :lol:

Absolutely. If you buy tree sandwiches you get a turd for free 8)

But sometimes in NYC, you might get the “toid” for free.

The mint? Or an itchy toid due to effusive endocrine production of a thyroid gland :?:

My British Oxford dictionary gives a third pronunciation of the first diphthong that’s not listed in US dictionaries: [ʌɪðə]

Hey Jamie, my browser doesn’t support these “ʌɪðə” symbols/sound representations. Could you describe them?