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Should I use singular countable nouns or plural countable nouns with no along with the word except?

  • There is no scientist who is as renowned as Einstein except Stephen Hawkings.

  • There are no scientists who are as renowned as Einstein except Stephen Hawkings.

  • I have no book except this red one.

  • I have no books except this red one.

I know it is more natural to use no with countable plural nouns in general. So we would generally say "There are no scientists in the hall." and "I don't have any books in my house." But when I use nowith except the problem arises. Can anyone please explain?

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