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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #1

    Plural or Singular?

    Hi everyone! Which are exactly correct or are all of these sentences right? Thank you all...

    None of the shops was open.
    None of the shops were open.

    Neither of the restaurants we went to was expensive.
    Neither of the restaurants we went to were expensive.

  1. #2

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    - None of the shops was opened.

    - Neither of the restaurants we went to was expensive.

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  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    But be careful with this one. Doing what is 'correct' may sometimes cause confusion. A lot of native speakers use the plural, and using the singular may sound stilted - rather like 'It is I' rather than the more natural 'It's me'.

    I usually paraphrase to avoid this problem - "Of all the restaurants, not one was open" (or some other version that avoids the negative pronoun).

    b

  3. #4

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But be careful with this one. Doing what is 'correct' may sometimes cause confusion. A lot of native speakers use the plural, and using the singular may sound stilted - rather like 'It is I' rather than the more natural 'It's me'.

    I usually paraphrase to avoid this problem - "Of all the restaurants, not one was open" (or some other version that avoids the negative pronoun).

    b

    Is the word "open" in the given sentence should be present? I'm just confused becase "was" was used and it should be "opened" right? Am I correct? Please advise.


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  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    open = in an 'open' state
    opened = made open, often for the first time

    "The restaurant was opened by Gary Rhodes last week, and now it's open every night."

    b


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #6

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    Thank you all very much...

  5. #7

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    open = in an 'open' state
    opened = made open, often for the first time

    "The restaurant was opened by Gary Rhodes last week, and now it's open every night."

    b

    Thanks.


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671
    #8

    Re: Plural or Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But be careful with this one. Doing what is 'correct' may sometimes cause confusion. A lot of native speakers use the plural, and using the singular may sound stilted - rather like 'It is I' rather than the more natural 'It's me'.
    I usually paraphrase to avoid this problem - "Of all the restaurants, not one was open" (or some other version that avoids the negative pronoun).
    b
    In fact, the singular and plural are both correct here, but in different contexts. It's called the principle of 'notional agreement'.

    1) "None of the shops was open." - In this case, the speaker will be emphasising that 'not even one' of the shops was open, and so his/her 'notion' is a singular one (one shop). For example:

    "I went to town today, and NONE of the shops was open; not ONE! Can you believe that?"

    2) "None of the shops were open." - In this case, the speaker is not interested in individual shops, but in the 'notion' of all the shops as a collection. For example:

    "I went to town today, and the newsagent wasn't open; the bakery wasn't open; the repair shop wasn't open; in fact, NONE of the shops were open."

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