Using BOTH in English

This post include using both in different types. Both … and …, both … of and etc… Follow the detailed expressions and example sentences;

Using BOTH in English

Both refers to two things or people together. Both is always considered plural in a sentence.


  • Both these boys are brothers.
  • Hold the book with both hands.
  • Both countries should be make a peace.
  • The earthquake was felt in both sides of the city.
  • I want to take both.
  • Both are fast.

Using ‘Both’:

Both is used with plural noun.

Both + plural noun


  • Both companies are on the brink of bankruptcy.
  • Both families are worried about their children.
  • We should learn both languages.

Using Both with ‘and’:

Both can be used to link two adjectives to a sentence.

Both + Adjective + and + Adjective


  • He is both smart and resourceful.
  • My father was both happy and sad when I got married.
  • They are both tired and hungry after shopping.

also can be used to link two nouns to a sentence.

Both + Noun + and + Noun


  • You can be both mother and businesswoman.
  • Both Alice and Susan have to comply with the rules.
  • I used to like playing both football and basketball when I was young.

Using Both with ‘of’:

When both is used before a determiner (my, she, his, the, these, etc.), both and both of can be used without a difference in meaning.

Both (of) + determiner + plural noun


  • Both his parents ( both of his parents ) are alive.
  • Both these girls ( both of these girls ) are very intelligent.
  • Both my students ( both of those students ) didn’t wear the school uniform.

Note: When we use both (without ‘of’) with plural nouns , ‘the’ which is a determiner is dropped.


  • Both of the businessmen are wealthy.
  • Both businessmen are wealthy.

When both is used with an object pronoun ( you, us, them ), the preposition ‘of’ is added before that pronoun.

Both of + object pronoun ( you, us, them )


  • The teacher is always looking at both of us. ( not both us )
  • This job will be good for both of you. ( not both you )
  • Both of them like this soup. ( not both them)

Both’s Positions in a Sentence:

Both can be used as a pronoun:

Both as Pronoun


  • We took both. ( green and white shoes )
  • She likes both. ( swimming and dancing )
  • I can’t carry both. ( bag and suitcase )

Both can be used after a subject pronoun.

Subject Pronoun + both


  • We both prefer classical music.
  • You both made a mistake.

Both can be used after an object pronoun:

Verb+ object pronoun + both


  • The manager called us both. ( both of us)
  • We sent them both to be given to the poor people. ( both of them)
  • Let’s take them both. ( both of them)

Both’s Positions in a situation where both refers to the subject of a sentence:

When we use the verb ‘be’ as a main verb, ‘both’ comes after the verb.

To be + both


  • These games are both currently popular among young people.
  • Those things are both very expensive.

When we use a modal verb ( can, may, have to, should, must, be able to, ought to ), both comes

between the subject and main verb, after a modal verb or the first auxiliary verb.

Modal verb + both + verb


  • You should both study more if you want to be successful.
  • Jack and Kevin would both be sorry for their attitutes if they knew the truth.

When we use a main verb, both comes before the verb.

Subject + both + main verb


  • We both want to stay at the same hotel.
  • They both want to buy a new car.

Using Both in a Negative Sentence:

Both is not used in a negative sentence. Neither is used instead of it.


  • Neither of them passed the exam. ( we don’t say ‘ Both of them didn’t pass the exam’.)