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  1. #1
    gxiang is offline Junior Member
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    Cool none of us + has/have

    Could you please tell me "none of us" is plural or single noun phrase?
    And which should follow it, has or have?

  2. #2
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    Donbelid is offline Member
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    Default Re: none of us + has/have

    I've seen both forms:
    1) None of my children has blonde hair.
    2) None of my children have blonde hair.

    Both of them are correct.

    But I think in American English, they often use it as a singular pronoun (none of them has, none of the was,...). I hope a native American confirm my statements.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: none of us + has/have

    none has been used with both singular and plural verbs since the 9th century. Source

    Usage Note: It is widely asserted that none is equivalent to no one, and hence requires a singular verb and singular pronoun. The choice between a singular or plural verb depends on the desired effect. Both options are acceptable in this sentence:

    None of the conspirators has (or have) been brought to trial.

    When none is modified by almost, however, it is difficult to avoid treating the word as a plural:

    Almost none of the officials were (not was) interviewed by the committee.

    None can only be plural in its use in sentences such as None but his most loyal supporters believe (not believes) his story. Source

    Some people insist that since “none” is derived from “no one” it should always be singular: “none of us is having dessert.” However, in standard usage, the word is most often treated as a plural. “None of us are having dessert” will do just fine. Source

    One special problem occurs with the word none, which has its origin in the phrase not one. Because of that original meaning, many writers insist that none always be singular, as not one clearly is. However, a more accurate way to assess its meaning is to recognize none as the negative, or opposite, of all and to treat it in the same way, with its number determined by the number of the modifier.

    Examples
    All of the cake was left.
    None of the cake was left.

    All of the cookies were left.
    None of the cookies were left.

    ~Martha Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar Source

    It’s uncertain who started the notion that none requires a singular verb, but it’s pervasive, both in the US and Britain, and seems to have been drummed into the heads of generations of schoolchildren. However, all the usage guides — and the usage notes in every dictionary that I can find — are unanimous in saying that it’s wrong.

    The argument stems from a misunderstanding of where the word comes from. People assume that none is a condensed form of no one or not one.
    Read more here: World Wide Words: Singular or plural verb with 'none'

    If you were taught that the word none is always singular, you were taught a half-truth. Yes, none can be singular, but it can be plural as well. Respected writers have been using the word both ways for a very long time.
    Those who once argued that none must be singular claimed that it meant “not a single one.” In fact, though, it quite often means “not any.” Writers are more or less free to decide which meaning is appropriate in their context. Advice given by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis is typical: “Consider none as singular when you want to emphasize a single entity in a group. Consider it plural when you want to emphasize more than one” (98). For Lederer and Dowis, both of these sentences are acceptable:


    None of us is going to the party.

    None of us are going to the party.

    Source

  4. #4
    fakaki is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: none of us + has/have

    Does the same rule apply to "neither" as in "Neither of us is/are able to...?" Can neither of us be singular and plural both? Thank you for your time! Tony.

  5. #5
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: none of us + has/have

    Quote Originally Posted by gxiang View Post
    Could you please tell me "none of us" is plural or single noun phrase?
    And which should follow it, has or have?
    Though "none have" is used often, "none has" is the correct standard English form.

    None is short for no one and not one, and not one have and no one have are bad grammar. Only None has is the grammatical.

    Here's a quote from A Writer's Reference, by Diana Hacker, a widely used (and excellent) reference book:

    "The indefinite pronouns none and neither are considered singular when used alone: Three rooms are available; none has a private bath. Neither is able to attend."

    [I edit copy and have tutored university writing.]

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: none of us + has/have

    Quote Originally Posted by fakaki View Post
    Does the same rule apply to "neither" as in "Neither of us is/are able to...?" Can neither of us be singular and plural both? Thank you for your time! Tony.
    Same answer as above. Like none, neither is always singular. (See the Diana Hacker example.)

    Many English speakers use non-standard English, so you will hear none and neither used a plurals. There is no grammatical foundation for this, however, and all books on grammar agree on this point.

    [I edit copy and have tutored university writing.]

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