Soit ... soit ... = Either ... or...

Look at these sentences:

Il existe soit en bleu, soit en rouge.
It exists either in blue or in red.

Tu peux avoir soit du fromage, soit un dessert.
You can have either cheese or dessert.

Pour Noël, j'aimerais soit une tablette, soit un nouveau portable.
For Christmas, I would like either a tablet or a new mobile phone.

 

 

Note that to say ''either...or...'' in French, we use soit...soit...

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Pour Noël, j'aimerais soit une tablette, soit un nouveau portable.
For Christmas, I would like either a tablet or a new mobile phone.


Il existe soit en bleu, soit en rouge.
It exists either in blue or in red.


Tu peux avoir soit du fromage, soit un dessert.
You can have either cheese or dessert.


Q&A Forum 9 questions, 13 answers

Place of soit


Mon père doit soit réparer le toit soit tondre la pelouse.
Un this soit is placed before infinitive 
Where soit should be placed 
Please elaborate about it
Asked 2 days ago

Place of soit


Mon père doit soit réparer le toit soit tondre la pelouse.
Un this soit is placed before infinitive 
Where soit should be placed 
Please elaborate about it

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Soit comma usage

In your first two examples I see: "soit du fromage, soit un dessert" and then "j'aimerais soit une tablette soit un nouveau portable."  I've looked to no avail to find an explanation for the usage/non-usage of a comma in the two phrases.  Could you please elucidate?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Robert, 

I am not an expert punctuator (not sure if the word exists, but if it doesn't it ought to!) but as there is an inconsistency with the sentence you mention not having commas, I will ask for it to be corrected.

Thanks for pointing it out...

I wouldn't obsess about the usage of commas too much. I think the rules aren't that strict and you use one where it is necessary to aid parsing of the sentence and make it easier to read.

Soit comma usage

In your first two examples I see: "soit du fromage, soit un dessert" and then "j'aimerais soit une tablette soit un nouveau portable."  I've looked to no avail to find an explanation for the usage/non-usage of a comma in the two phrases.  Could you please elucidate?

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soit/soit ou/ou

Isn't ou/ou also an option for either/or?  

Je voudrais ou le café ou le thé?

When can that be used?

Thank you!

Asked 7 months ago

soit/soit ou/ou

Isn't ou/ou also an option for either/or?  

Je voudrais ou le café ou le thé?

When can that be used?

Thank you!

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Soit...soit

« Soit on passe le Noël chez mes parents...soit..ici ».  Is it possible to say (paraphrasing)...  « On passe le Noël soit...chez mes parents soit ici » instead of putting « soit » at the very beginning of the sentence?
Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Marnie,

Yes you can say that too...

Soit...soit

« Soit on passe le Noël chez mes parents...soit..ici ».  Is it possible to say (paraphrasing)...  « On passe le Noël soit...chez mes parents soit ici » instead of putting « soit » at the very beginning of the sentence?

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Soit.....soit

May I please suggest adding some more examples to this lesson; for example, usage with verbs. Thanks.
Asked 1 year ago

Soit.....soit

May I please suggest adding some more examples to this lesson; for example, usage with verbs. Thanks.

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Why is "soit des vacances soit du travail" wrong as a translation of "either holiday or work"?

Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Jose, Was there a question involved with your post? I do not find that type of question in the lesson.
The correct answer is "soit les vacances soit le travail". Here you are talking about vacation and work in general terms: either vacation (in general) or work (in general). "Des vacances" uses the partitive "de" and refers to (some vacations). Similarly for "du travail". -- Chris. (not a native speaker)
The question is when do you use, for example, des vacances instead of les vacances, or du travail instead of le travail.   In one of the examples we had du fromage but un dessert. 

I also put 'des vacances' here. I don't really see why it couldn't be 'some holidays' - i.e. Either you take some holiday, or you work  

Don't understand the distinction.

Why is "soit des vacances soit du travail" wrong as a translation of "either holiday or work"?

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liaison with soit...soit

Is there no liaison between soit and the word that follows it? None of the sound files seemed to include it, whether soit preceded un/une/en... Thank you!
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Lisa, The liaison after soit is optional.

liaison with soit...soit

Is there no liaison between soit and the word that follows it? None of the sound files seemed to include it, whether soit preceded un/une/en... Thank you!

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after "soit" when should you use "de" and when do you omit "de

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Richard ! It depends on whether you're using a verb followed by the preposition "de" or not. E.g. "Je me sers *d'*un outil." (I'm using a tool.) -> "Je me sers soit d'un marteau soit d'un tournevis." "J'ai vu Paul." (I saw Paul.) -> "J'ai vu soit Paul soit Thomas." "Tu as besoin *de* quelque chose." (You need something.) -> "Tu as besoin soit d'un crayon soit d'un stylo." I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
Can you say "Tu as besoin DE soit un crayon soit un stylo"?

after "soit" when should you use "de" and when do you omit "de

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How can they be the same word? Is soit 'to be'?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Malcolm, Yes, technically "soit" is the subjunctive of être, meaning "be." But the French conjunction soit ... soit needs to be understood as a set phrase. If it helps, you can think of if as "whether it be ... or it be ..."
Where might I find the mini quiz for this lesson? I seem to have lost several mini quizzes today. Thank you, Terri

How can they be the same word? Is soit 'to be'?

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