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  1. #1
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    Default none of them define/s

    Dear Friends,

    Yahoo gives me plenty of hits on both: none of them define/defines.

    What does grammar say? Both?

    Palinkasocsi

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: none of them define/s

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    Dear Friends,

    Yahoo gives me plenty of hits on both: none of them define/defines.

    What does grammar say? Both?

    Palinkasocsi
    Yes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    Brit. Eng.:
    Whilst 'none' can take both a singular or plural verb, that does NOT mean that you can use either in any sentence, depending on your whim.

    See posting below.
    Last edited by David L.; 10-Mar-2009 at 07:07.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    None means not one, which is singular, so the right choice is defines.

    Always remember that most native English speakers do not use standard English.

    Having said that, let's see what David L. comes back with. I'd like to find out where none is plural. I can't think of a place, but he's been known to to pull some interesting things out of the hat.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

  5. #5
    engee30's Avatar
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    Cool Re: none of them define/s

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Brit. Eng.:
    Whilst 'none' can take both a singular or plural verb, that does NOT mean that you can use either in any sentence, depending on your whim.

    (My dinner is almost on the table. I'll tease this one out shortly.)
    You once tried to give some explanations concerning the same topic. It was then when you decided not to go on about the topic any further. So why should you do it now?
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...ike-likes.html


  6. #6
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie bernstein View Post
    none means not one, which is singular, so the right choice is defines.

    "none" can also mean 'not any' (and 'no part'). (none of that apple is edible.)

    so depending on how you look at it, you can say either of the following.
    none (not one) of them defines.
    none (not any) of them define.

    generally, a plural verb following a plural noun or pronoun sounds more natural.
    none of the apples are edible.






    ]
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 10-Mar-2009 at 05:58.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    When individuality is being emphasized (that is, ‘not one’), a singular form of the verb is used:

    “She is difficult to describe physically - none of her features is particularly striking.”
    (That is, of all her facial features, not one is striking.)

    “It was a quiet night in the restaurant. There was an elderly couple in one of the booths, but none of the other tables was occupied.”
    (That is, not one table, not a single other table was occupied.)

    When you are considering things as a collective group (the notion of a sub-group within a larger group), use the plural:
    “She had many boyfriends and love affairs in her younger years, but none were very serious.”

    “Many factors contribute to rampant disease in African countries, but fortunately, none of these are present in South Africa.”

    Engee: You once tried to give some explanations concerning the same topic. It was then when you decided not to go on about the topic any further. So why should you do it now?
    So why should you do it now? So why should you do it now? What kind of school-yard petulance gives with you!
    Here, I am responding to a thread by palinkasocsi rather then, as before, deciding to terminate responding to you!
    From here on, bleat away. I will be ignoring your posts.

    END
    Last edited by David L.; 10-Mar-2009 at 07:36.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    Thank you very much for your suggestions.

    Take care,

    Palinkasocsi

  9. #9
    Charlie Bernstein is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: none of them define/s

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    2006
    "none" can also mean 'not any' (and 'no part'). (none of that apple is edible.)
    Thanks, 2006 - I like that! Makes sense.

    I think I'll pull out my Chicago Manual of Style tonight and see if it says anything else about it.

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