"One is either free or not."
Translation:Man ist entweder frei oder nicht.
As far as I know, in German if you are referring to an abstract individual (genderless so to speak), you would always go with "man" (meaning "generic person" and not "Mann" i.e. male).
Why "Ein" cannot be used in this case? It's not clear if it is der/die/das.
I think the english phrase doesnt quite reflect the german one because we dont have an direct translation for 'Man' in english. Therefore using 'ein' wouldn't accuratly translate the intention behind sentance.
Perhaps the english phrase should be "A person is either free or not".
The English equivalent of "man" is "one". It sounds rather stuffy to my ear but it is absolutely correct to say "One is either free or not". It does not mean "one (instead of two)", it's more like the formal "Sie" which is entirely different from the 3rd person feminine singular "sie" (English "she").
Subject must come first, and the subject is one, I think 'either' would only come first when you've got subordination?
But, if 'either' is the conjunction - then doesn't that mean 'free' must come last as the verb? to be free? :S