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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #1

    Was or were??

    I read this in a newspaper, is it correct English?

    'None of the passengers was wearing a seatbelt'

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Wink Re: Was or were??

    Quote Originally Posted by lorraineh View Post
    I read this in a newspaper, is it correct English?

    'None of the passengers was wearing a seatbelt'
    Yes, it is.

    You could read the situation as:
    Not a single passenger was wearing a seatbelt.


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    #3

    Re: Was or were??

    Engee has pointed up an important consideration, that of, notional plurality. Traditional grammar has maintained that 'none' is singular, but language has never followed this "rule" [what's new, eh? ]

    He illustrated what the writer obviously envisioned. But there is no reason that another English speaker couldn't envision,

    Not any of the passengers were wearing a seatbelt.

    There are grammar situations in English where the choice is dependent upon what the speaker is viewing in their brain as they formulate a sentence.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #4

    Smile Re: Was or were??

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Engee has pointed up an important consideration, that of, notional plurality. Traditional grammar has maintained that 'none' is singular, but language has never followed this "rule" [what's new, eh? ]

    He illustrated what the writer obviously envisioned. But there is no reason that another English speaker couldn't envision,

    Not any of the passengers were wearing a seatbelt.

    There are grammar situations in English where the choice is dependent upon what the speaker is viewing in their brain as they formulate a sentence.
    It's amazing what you can find under the 'cover' of grammar rules sometimes.

    Your example sentence, as well as mine, shows what point of view it could have been to convey the initial meaning of the message by the author.

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