In terms of grammar, do I say " None are afraid" or "None is afraid"?
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None are afraid would be correct.
if you said None is afraid. it would be true or correct if none was someone. like try replacing it with a name
John is afraid. that would make sense. but since none is nothing it wouldn't be right.
It can be either singular or plural depending on whether 'none' is in that situation.
None are afraid.
The Chinese warriors are brutal when it comes to battles, none are afraid of instigating a conflicts that will cause war.
Totally made it up so yeah.
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Lethal, thank you for your answer. However, I believe Wach is right. None of the soldiers is on guard. None also stands for "Not one" according to dictionary.com. But Wach, would please elaborate the two possible situations for plural or singular?
Wait can they both be correct.
Let's say if so that plural is None are. and for singular is it None is
like The soldier is on duty. The soldiers are on duty.
Tell me what you think.
None can take place of 'not one' or 'not any', which are singular and plural, respectively.
When followed by a 'mass' noun that refers to something not quantitatively measured, none is also singular.
None of the land is for sale. (Land=mass noun)
None is here today after the wildfire.
None of the people from the party have helped me with this.
Okay i see this makes sense.
But for None is here today after the wildfire.
Isn't that kind of silly to say Not one is here
wouldn't it rather be No one is here today after the wildfire?
I'm just saying because I haven't seen that used much. But i guess now i have
Yeah, it's not something that would be said normally.
Just a kind of weird grammar rule that people seldom use, y'know?
mhmm. Alright then. Good discussion
If I were you, I would rewrite it to avoid "none" as the subject. But if you insist, I hope that the following information may shed some light and understanding.
Strunk and EB White's instruction on "none" follows the rule of singular verb when the word means "no one" or "not one." And a plural verb when it suggests more than one thing or person.
singular: None of us is perfect.
plural: None are so fallible as those who are sure they're right.
Sounds easy right? While this may seem like a simple instruction, some known authors such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Lucy Montgomery used this with a plural agreement.
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest:
Chasuble. [Raising his hand.] Charity, dear Miss Prism, charity! None of us are perfect. I myself am peculiarly susceptible to draughts. Will the interment take place here?
Are you still reading? I hope you are catching up to this point.
You're probably thinking that "none" can be used as singular or plural after all. Just to counter the three previously mentioned authors, English poet and literary critic John Dryden, Scottish philosopher and professor George Campbell and Guinness Book of World Record best-selling novelist Dame Agatha Christie are some of the names of popular authors that treat the subject strictly as singular. The explanation is provided in handbook written by Horace Dalmolin in The New English Grammar handbook.
Now, if you still insist using "none" as the subject, GO AHEAD; It would avoid a great deal of confusion if you did not. Just remember to be consistent so you won't get red marks all over your essay.