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There was a shooting today in Los Angeles but none of the officers was hurt.

There was a shooting today in Los Angeles but none of the officers were hurt.

"Officers" is plural pointing to "were" but the subject is "shooting" pointing to was????? "None" is defined as "not one" so is it "was" or "were"?
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Comments  
First of all, the verb phrase "was/were hurt" refers to none of the officers.

Shooting is a subject of the first clause, so don't worry about it.

None of the officers should be followed by a singular verb in a formal style in British English, i.e. ...but none of the officers was hurt.

However, plural verb form after such words as [none, neither, either, any] + of is common in informal style in British English, i.e. ... but none of the officers were hurt.

It seems to me that in American English plural form is in this context even more frequent than the singular.

cairn
Well, have a look at google results:

"none of * is" site:.uk 61,700

"none of * are" site:.uk 62,100

"none of * was" site:.uk 19,500

"none of * were" site:.uk 26,400

The singular and plural forms are (more or less) equally common among the speakers of English in Britain. I'm afraid I'm not able to tell what portion of these samples is formal or informal BrE.

cairn
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Hi, Cairn,

I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but since expressions like "None of the meat was spoiled" would be singular (whether the agreement is with "none" or with "meat"), I don't see what the tallies prove. Wouldn't you need to isolate only cases where "none of" was followed by a plural noun?

Jim
Re: None

"None" is an indefinite pronoun which may either be plural or singular.

<< http://grammar.uoregon.edu/pronouns/indefinite.html >>

Here are two examples from the OED:-

a) None of the guests wants to stay.

b) None of the guests want to stay.
Hello CJ,

oh you're so right about it. I forgot about the uncountable ones. I'm sorry if I misled somebody. My tallies don't prove anything.

Deebash,

here and here are two more .edu sites, but there they claim that the verb should be singular..and here's another where the singular is preferred over the plural in such contexts as being more formal. Please do check them - I just can't believe that it doesn't matter which form you use.

regards,

cairn
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I just can't believe that it doesn't matter which form you use.
Cairn,

I quote:

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 n, 'one', but the word has been used as both a singular and a plural noun from Old English onward. The plural usage appears in the King James Bible as well as the works of John Dryden and Edmund Burke and is widespread in the works of respectable writers today. Of course, the singular usage is perfectly acceptable. The choice between a singular or plural verb depends on the desired effect. Both options are acceptable in this sentence: 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.

<< http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=none >>

Since it didn't even matter to King James whether "none" is singular or plural, I see no reason why you "just can't believe that it doesn't matter which form you use."
I agree with cairn,

a) from A University Grammar of English,Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum, ELBS with Longman,

ISBN 0 582 05886 4, page 179.

" Indefinite expression of amount

7.24

Another area of ambivalence is that of indefinite and negative expressions of amount. For example in

I've ordered the shrubs, but none (of them) have/has yet arrived

grammatical concord would suggest that none is singular; but notional concord ( we might paraphrase as 'they have not arrived') invites a plural verb. Has is therefore more conventionally 'correct', but have is more idiomatic in speech. ............. .

If a prepositional phrase with a plural complement follows the indefinite construction, a plural verb is favoured not only because of notional concord but because of the proximity rule:

none of them are "

b)from A Communicative Grammar of English, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik, ELBS with Longman,

ISBN 0 582 00260 5, page222.

"Concord with indefinite expression of amount

540

.............

- I've ordered the cement, but none (of it) HAS yet arrived. (MASS)

-I've ordered the shrubs, but none (of them) HAVE/HAS yet arrived. (SINGULAR OR PLURAL COUNT)

In the last example, grammatical insist that none is singular, but notional concord invites a plural verb. Has is typical of <written, formal> style, whereas have is more idiomatic in <informal > English.

...... "

BTW, "NO COMMENT!!"


...Has is therefore more conventionally 'correct', but have is more idiomatic in speech.

Wasn't the original question, "Which is grammatically correct?" ? Or was it "Which is more conventionally 'correct', blah, blah.......?"

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