Is "None" Singular or Plural?

In this post, Brian A. Klems explains the differences between the singular and plural versions of the word none.
Author:
Publish date:
Is "None" Singular or Plural?

Q: The word “none” should always be singular, right?—Anonymous

(Click here to view our 12 most popular grammar posts.)

A: This is a major misconception. "None" can be a singular pronoun if it's referring to "not one" or "no part," but it also can be plural when referring to "not any." None of the apple was eaten. Apple is a singular item, so you'd use the singular verb "was." None of the ballplayers were on the team bus after the game. Here, "none" refers to "not any of the ballplayers" just as much as it refers to "not one of the ballplayers," so it can be plural. Pluralizing it not only makes it a clearer sentence but also makes it less awkward to read.

    Grammar and Mechanics

    No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

    Click to continue.

    Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

    Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

    It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

    writer's digest wd presents

    WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

    This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

    What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

    What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

    Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

    From Script

    How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

    In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

    Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

    Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

    The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

    Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

    Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

    Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

    Poetic Forms

    Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

    Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

    25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

    25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

    Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).

    Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

    Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

    Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they're being followed.