Suppose I want to translate

Either you or your men did that.

Which of these should I say?

Entweder du oder deine Männer tatest / taten das.

Or something else?

1 Answer 1


You can't combine it that way. Only identical parts of a sentence may be left out.

Entweder tatest du (es), oder deine Männer taten es.

Entweder hast du (es (getan)), oder deine Männer haben es getan.

(Second person Präteritum forms are especially odd. Please understand that Präteritum isn't the regular past tense in German. It's the narrative tense. But narratives are told in first or third person. Not second person.)

Only colloquially the following is okay:

Entweder haben du oder deine Männer es getan.

This is because if you phrased it with und, du und deine Männer would be a plural subject as a whole. And most people would not make a difference with oder.

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