Friday, August 5, 2011
Please, put me out of my misery: “None”, singular or plural?
Rest easy; none can be both singular and plural, depending on how you want to use it. Generally, I use the singular pronoun, as in its original meaning “no one”. Here are your choices: 1) when none is followed by a preposition modifier (none of the people believe), choose the plural, as you would if modified by “almost” (almost none believe...). Or 2) choose the singular (none of the people believes), meaning “not even one person believes”.