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I'm new here and need help with this sentence:
"None have been employed..."
or "None has been employed..."
Which is gramatically correct?
Approved answer (verified by Mister Micawber)
Usage Note: It is widely asserted that none is equivalent to no one, and hence requires a singular verb and singular pronoun: None of the prisoners was given his soup. It is true that none is etymologically derived from the Old English word ân, "one," but the word has been used as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward. The plural use can be found in reputable sources such as the King James Bible, Dryden, and Burke; and H.W. Fowler described the traditional rule as "a mistake." Either a singular or a plural verb is acceptably used in a sentence such as None of the conspirators has (or have) been brought to trial. When none is modified by almost, however, it is difficult to avoid treating the word as a plural: Almost none of the officials were (not was) interviewed by the committee. None can only be plural in its use in sentences such as None but his most loyal supporters believe (not believes) his story.
Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Chapter1Hi all,I have often tried to explain to students that "none of them has" is correct with the following. "Has" is the singular, indicating 'one'. It is difficult, perhaps, to equate "zero, none, etc.", with the singular, but it is impossibleto make it plural.
Many references on the subject gladly accept either the singular or the non-singular verb with a subject of "none". I find both acceptable, but "play it safe" by using the singular in formal writing.
"None has" is technically correct as it refers to each "one" individually ("none" being merely a contraction of "no one").
However, there is a common tendency to say "none have" due to the superficial plurality of the word "none".
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