A quick question (from a English verbal test book)

Which of the following sentences is correct:

1) None of the children is in the field.
2) None of the children are in the field.

I felt that 2) was correct, but the answer book said 1), hence I am a bit of unsure now. Is 'none' a singular or plural noun? I checked the web on this and found many conflicting arguments from various sources and am not sure which one to trust. If you came across this question in a real test, which one would you choose?
Many thanks
DH
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A quick question (from a English verbal test book) Which of the following sentences is correct: 1) None of the ... one to trust. If you came across this question in a real test,which one would you choose? Many thanks DH

No 1 is correct because "not one" (ie none) is simply the negation of "one", rather than "more than one". Subject and verb must agree and since the subject is deemed singular, the singular verb is correct.
cheers
Chrissy
I don't think the matter is that easily solved. Functionally, No. 1 is "correct" because whoever developed the question decided that no.
1 is the answer But in real life, either a singular or a pluralverb with "none" can be idiomatic in a given context, and sometimes both are, so it's not surprising that the OP has encountered arguments on both sides. The AUE FAQ has a short note on this at , which says the plural usually sounds more natural.
Okay, so how would *I* answer the test question? I think I'd use "are." What we're talking about is a group of children. Sometimes all are in the field, sometimes some are, sometimes none are. Ergo: "are." It sounds more natural.
That said, I assume the OP knows that ultimately the "correct" answer is the one the teacher says is correct. If the teacher wants singular verbs with "none" every time, give the teacher singular verbs every time. But if what the teacher wants is what native speakers of English consider idiomatic, a plural verb with "none" is preferable (IMO) in the test question and in most though hardly all other contexts.

Liebs
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I don't think the matter is that easily solved.

Yes, it is. There is no reason to complicate the issue by defending the illiterate, or by talking down to children as though they were incapable of grammar.

"With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross."
A quick question (from a English verbal test book) Which of the following sentences is correct: 1) None of the ... to trust. If you came across this question in a real test, which one would you choose? Many thanks DH

In the USA:
As you seem to have noticed, there are times when one must cater to the teacher and give the answer that is wanted, even if it is not the right answer.
When I went to school, none, some, and all were words that could take either singular or plural verbs, depending on the situation. I think one more word fits this category now, but I forget what it is.

In this case either sounds ok, and in this case I think that means either is ok, but in most situations, the word which is associated with none and is closest to the verb determines if a singular or plural is used. Since "children" is plural, use "are" in actual speech. If it were "None of the pudding is in the refrigerator" "are" would sound wierd. The Britizh use "are" with words like company and army (that include more than one person) so I don't know what they would use with "none of the pudding".
s/ meirman

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say if you are posting the same response.
Born west of Pittsburgh Pa. 10 years
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I don't think the matter is that easily solved.

Yes, it is. There is no reason to complicate the issue by defending the illiterate, or by talking down to children as though they were incapable of grammar.

If you think there's a rule of English usage (usage, not grammar) requiring a singular verb after "none" in all contexts (which I'm guessing is the basis for your intemperate remarks), you go right ahead and think so. Go right ahead and pretend that native speakers of English do not use plural verbs with "none" more frequently than they do singular. Ignore the many usage commentaries by such idiots as Oxford and Merriam-Webster. You're obviously smarter than all of them.
As for "talking down," I was responding to someone whose name appears to be "dawei." The email address ends in "net," so there's no help there. The name, together with the fact that he was quoting the question "from a (sic) English verbal test book," led me to conclude that he is not a native speaker. I thought a bit more explanation was in order than my explanation to you, which I think can be adequately summarized as "Blow it out your ass."

Do you have anything more to justify your comments than the fact that you just know you are right? And what entitles you to attack me with this sort of hostility when I was only trying to be helpful? This used to be a civilized newsgroup.

Liebs
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bit of on this sure which No 1 is correct ... the subject is deemed singular, the singular verb is correct.

I don't think the matter is that easily solved. Functionally, No. 1 is "correct" because whoever developed the question decided ... "none" is preferable (IMO) in the test question and in most though hardly all other contexts. Liebs

What you say is perfectly sensible (although I do note your remarks in another thread about what is acceptable!!).
Purely on aesthetic grounds, it always jars when I hear someone fail to make the standard agreement, much as I can follow the logic of it.

A more curious one id the old canard:
One in five of the respondents is dissatisfied.
It's implicit that "one in five" is more than one respondent, though this is unclear. So the verb "is" is probably wrong, though it sounds curious to say so.
cheers
Chrissy
A quick question (from a English verbal test book) Which ... a real test,which one would you choose? Many thanks DH

In the USA: As you seem to have noticed, there are times when one must cater to the teacher and ... army (that include more than one person) so I don't know what they would use with "none of the pudding".

Here "none" is really "no part" (rather than not one) since one cannot count pudding. That's why "is" sounds right. It's an odd claim though. "Have you stored all of the pudding dear? No, none of it is in the refrigerator." What an odd sequence.
cheers
Chrissy
Yes, it is. There is no reason to complicate the ... down to children as though they were incapable of grammar.

Do you have anything more to justify your comments than the fact that you just know you are right? And ... with this sort of hostility when I was only trying to be helpful? This used to be a civilized newsgroup.

I believe it still is. That one person gets stentorian doesn't besmirch the entire group. Maybe he was having a personal moment. People bring all sorts of baggage to this delightfully anonymous place.
cheers
Chrissy
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