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  1. #1
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    Question plural of singular

    None of them [ is / are ] late for the class.

    Above the sentence, which one is grammatically correct, is or are ?

    I wonder whether the subject, " None of them " needs singular verb or plural verb...

  2. #2
    hanky is offline Key Member
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    Re: plural of singular

    Quote Originally Posted by jajakwood View Post
    None of them [ is / are ] late for the class.

    Above the sentence, which one is grammatically correct, is or are ?

    I wonder whether the subject, " None of them " needs singular verb or plural verb...
    I am not a teacher.


    None of them are late for the class.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: plural of singular

    Quote Originally Posted by jajakwood View Post
    None of them [ is / are ] late for the class.

    Above the sentence, which one is grammatically correct, is or are ?

    I wonder whether the subject, " None of them " needs singular verb or plural verb...
    ***NOT A TEACHER***jajakwood, good morning. I am sorry to report that this little word gives even native speakers a problem. (1) "None" = "Not one." (2) So a few strict teachers require the singular: None of them is late to class. (3) Many (most?) teachers here in the United States say that the true idea of "none" is "not any." So they recommend the plural: None of them are late to class. (4) Many teachers also say the plural sounds "better" or "more natural": None of his fingers are broken. (5) Those teachers say that if you wish to emphasize "not one," then use those words: Not one of his fingers is broken. (6) You will notice both the singular and plural in American newspapers and on TV. (7)Of course, sometimes the singular is necessary: None of the soup is good.= None of it is good. Thank you.

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    Re: plural of singular

    I appreciate your kind and detailed explanation. I have looked up it in some grammar reference books and come to the same conclusion as your comment. Having been taught that "none' means "not one", I thought that none is followed by singular verb as a natural result. However, in many grammar books which I referred to, most of the example sentences that have "none" as a subject have plural verb. With your comment, I have come to teach it to my students more clearly. Thank again your comment. Peace and joy to you.

  5. #5
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: plural of singular

    Quote Originally Posted by jajakwood View Post
    I appreciate your kind and detailed explanation. I have looked up it in some grammar reference books and come to the same conclusion as your comment. Having been taught that "none' means "not one", I thought that none is followed by singular verb as a natural result. However, in many grammar books which I referred to, most of the example sentences that have "none" as a subject have plural verb. With your comment, I have come to teach it to my students more clearly. Thank again your comment. Peace and joy to you.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Thank you so much for your very kind note.

    (1) Since you are a teacher, I feel that you would not be offended if I gently pointed out something in your note.

    (2) It is preferable to say "look it up." It is not considered "correct" to say "look up it." But it is OK (and even popular) if you use a noun instead of a pronoun: I looked something up./ I looked up something. That is the practice here in the United States.

    (3) As an older person, I have been raised to be very respectful -- especially of teachers. The only reason why I dared comment on this matter was that I felt you would like to know about this matter in case a student should ever ask you.

    Thank you again so very much.

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