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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    there was none or there were none ?

    For the sentence below for the part in red font should it be "there was none or there were none" ?

    The team managed to complete 3 to 4 jobs per month and at times there was none.

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    #2

    Re: there was none or there were none ?

    For countable nouns use 'there were none', and vice versa.

    'I wanted some sugar in my tea but there was none (or more colloquially there wasn't any).'

    'I looked for some grapes but there were none (there weren't any)'

    Your sentence sounds odd.

    Rover

  2. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: there was none or there were none ?

    thanks a lot for the explanation.

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    #4

    Re: there was none or there were none ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    For countable nouns use 'there were none', and vice versa.

    'I wanted some sugar in my tea but there was none (or more colloquially there wasn't any).'

    'I looked for some grapes but there were none (there weren't any)'

    Your sentence sounds odd.

    Rover
    Some prescriptive grammarians would disagree.
    None is a singular pronoun and should be used with a singular form of a verb: none of the students has (not have) a car
    (Collins Dict.)

    It is widely asserted that none is equivalent to no one, and hence requires a singular verb and singular pronoun: None of the prisoners was given his soup.
    (AHD)

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: there was none or there were none ?

    You'll find that even some of the most educated and linguistically aware among us use "None of them were ..." in some cases, and that "None of them was ..." is starting to sound as pedantic as 'Whom did you give it to?'

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    #6

    Re: there was none or there were none ?

    I am not a teacher.

    When "none" means "no one", it it usually best to construe it as singular. I normally do, myself. That there is ever any doubt, though, suggests that idiom is pulling in the other direction sometimes, and we all know where that leads. "None of the children has measles" is how I would write it, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear myself say "None of the children have measles." The heavy one-two punch of the two plurals wobbles the legs of the poor little singular verb. And look at, "Almost none of the children has measles." That just plain sounds wrong.

    When "none" means "not any", it is singular or plural depending on the antecedent. Rover's examples are right.

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