‘None’ is of Singular Importance

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter

Language Lessons. ... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a few words in the English language that muddy the normally clear water of singular vs. plural. None of them, perhaps, is as confusing as … well, none.

It’s common, for example, to hear someone say something such as this:

None of them are going to the party.

And thus you have a commonly made mistake: None does not take a plural subject, but a singular. So the correct way to say the sentence above is:

None of them is going to the party.

The reason is simple: The word none means “no single one.” If you try using that three-word phrase in place of none, the meaning becomes clear: No single one of them is going to the party. Using this phrase also allows you to see the wrongness of the plural: No single one of them are going to the party. Sounds bad, right? That’s because it is.

Class dismissed. =)

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Being the great change (the language of grace) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality
  2. alex
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 06:35:42

    It is truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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