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Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia and the Parser,

@TheParser posted:

1. "The airplane crashed in the jungle. Fortunately, none ( = not any) of the passengers  were hurt."

2. Some teachers advise just using "not one" if you want to emphasize that fact: "The airplane crashed in the jungle. Surprisingly, not one of the passengers was hurt."

I completely agree with the Parser here. If you want to indicate the singularity, it is better to use 'not one'.

Hello. Could you please help me? Which one is correct or both are OK?
- Don't depend on false friends. None help / helps in need.
Simple-language explanation, please. Thank you.

The source and the site you got your example and comment from depend mainly on the following information:

“When none is the subject, the verb is either singular or plural depending on what it is referring to.”

I’m always looking for inspiration. None ever comes.

She’s always looking for ideas. None ever come.

This information comes from here:


Here, they differentiate between 'none' as a pronoun and 'none of' as a quantifier.


Now, grammatically speaking, ‘none’ has two meanings: ‘not any (of them) which is plural and  ‘not one (of them)’ which is singular. In your example, Can you tell which one it means?

From ‘The Joy of Syntax’,  by June Casagrande (one of my recent favorite writers):

- Of all my family members, none are as generous as Carol. (Correct because the writer intends none as plural.)
- Of all my family members, none is as generous as Carol. (Correct because the writer intends none as singular.)

The following two links have more information about this topic:

“In a sentence like “None were missing,” there is an implicit noun that answers the question, “None of what?” If that noun is singular, none takes a singular verb. If that noun is plural, it is up to the writer and the sense of the sentence to determine whether none takes a singular or a plural verb.

- None was missing. (None of the pie was missing.)
- None were missing. (None of the cookies were missing. But there may be times when a writer prefers was, as in Not a single one of the cookies was missing.)

Last edited by ahmed_btm

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