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Hi all,

I'm new here and need help with this sentence:
"None have been employed..."
or "None has been employed..."

Which is gramatically correct?

Regards.
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None can be used in formal writing with either a singular or a plural verb depending on context. This topic has been amply discussed in the following usage note from American Heritage Dictionary.

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.
Comments  
Chapter1Hi all,

I'm new here and need help with this sentence:
"None have been employed..."
or "None has been employed..."

Which is gramatically correct?

Regards.
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. Emotion: wink
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

I have often tried to explain that English has two numbers: singular and non-singular. Only "one" is singular. If you have none (or two, or three, ...), you don't have one; therefore noneis non-singular and must take a non-singular verb. Emotion: smile

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.

CJ

 Likeguslee's reply was promoted to an answer.
I use "not one" to help make it singular. Not one of them is......makes it easier
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With due respect to the writer, none cannot take the plural verb. It represents one. You cannot say one have; you must say one has. Thus, none has is grammatically and logically correct. However, the use of King James Bible as a reliable source for good English is misleading. The translator of KJV, if we were to follow him/them, no one would understand a thing. Not a good example to cite in defense of plural verb after the word none.

Chrys
AnonymousWith due respect to the writer, none cannot take the plural verb.
—Usage.Since NONE has the meanings “not one” and “not any,” some insist that it always be treated as a singular and be followed by a singular verb: The rescue party searched for survivors, but none was found. However, NONE has been used with both singular and plural verbs since the 9th century. When the sense is “not any persons or things” (as in the example above), the plural is more common: … none were found. Only when NONE is clearly intended to mean “not one” or “not any” is it followed by a singular verb: Of all my articles, none has received more acclaim than my latest one.

- Random House Unabridged Dictionary

CB