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None is or None are?

Back to the basics with regular Challenge winner, Ann Grover. Weekly lessons to help you hone your basic writing skills.

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Arpy
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None is or None are?

Postby Arpy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:27 am

Logically, I think it is 'none is'--not-one-is. But English doesn't have to follow logic. What do you think?
Arpy

I write adventures, historical fiction, war stories, fantasies, psychological and spy thrillers.

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lish1936
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Re: None is or None are?

Postby lish1936 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:27 am

Arpy wrote:Logically, I think it is 'none is'--not-one-is. But English doesn't have to follow logic. What do you think?


I think it depends on how 'none' is used with other words that follow.

Ex. 1) None of the time is spent on playing video games.

Ex. 2) None of the children are dressed warmly.

Lillian :typing2
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Re: None is or None are?

Postby Anja » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:41 am

That's an excellent question.

Edited to add: I left the reply page open and went off to drive the cowboy truck and stock trailer. I came home, filled in my reply, but Lillian had already beat me to the punch. She is absolutely correct, as you'll see from my much wordier reply.


First of all, "none" is a shortened version of "not one." Therefore, one (and therefore none) is singular, or so it's been said since the beginning of time.

However, the rule is to look at what there is "none of" in your sentence.
Is it singular or plural?

None of the cake is missing. (Cake is singular, therefore use is.)
None of the houses are painted. (Houses is plural, therefore use are.)

The same rule would hold true for other verbs: was/were, has/have, etc.

Apparently, the SAT testing service considers none as a singular word only. However, according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, “Clearly none has been both singular and plural since Old English and still is. The notion that it is singular only is a myth of unknown origin that appears to have arisen in the 19th century. If in context it seems like a singular to you, use a singular verb; if it seems like a plural, use a plural verb. Both are acceptable beyond serious criticism” (p. 664)


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Ann Grover

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Arpy
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Re: None is or None are?

Postby Arpy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:39 pm

Yes, thanks. I'm a stickler for correct grammar, but I'm not the best at it myself.

To tell the truth, it's been bothering me since I went to sleep a few nights ago. (That's when my deeply philosophical thoughts come.)

But that helps!
Arpy

I write adventures, historical fiction, war stories, fantasies, psychological and spy thrillers.

IN PROGRESS:
Snaga - fan fiction fantasy
Emira - action adventure
Confessions of an Evil Genius - psychological thriller
The Play-Actor - sci-fi, historical, psychological spy thriller
Dreamreader - YA psychological thriller
A fantasy without a title
RECENT DRAFTS:
Royal Opposition - action adventure

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Re: None is or None are?

Postby wjourney » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:33 am

thank you for that quick grammer lesson, I will be writing that down in my book of notes for future reference.
Susan


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