Another question from a non-native English speaker: would it be appropriate to say "No one of them is popular"?
Of course that is correct, but duo simply forgot to list it. I had to do a little research in this topic, since duo failed also me on this one.
"None is descended from Old English nān meaning ‘not one’ and has been used for around a thousand years with both a singular and a plural verb, depending on the context and the emphasis needed." - Oxford Dictionaries
So, it could be debated if your suggestion isn't the most adequate.
Just for the record: 'none of them is popular' is now accepted. [March, 2016].
You can say it, but not often. With this stress: No one of them is popular, but none of them is hated.
You could say, "No one of them is popular" which would be more emphatic. "None of them is popular" is simpler and more common.
4sily, despite other answers, NO - you cannot say "No one of them is popular', it has to be none, or 'no-one is popular'.
How about "No particular single one of them is popular individually, but they work well together." -- same construction but expanded?
if used as no one it is singular, if used as not any it is plural, :) je souhaite que cela t'aide
Excellent catch -- but "are" is commonly used among native English speakers, even though it's technically incorrect.
It is not incorrect in English. Duo's use is correct.
None means not one but it also means not any. As such it is grammatically correct to use the plural where it applies.
not one = is = correct
not any = are = correct
General usage includes it as plural, but by prescriptive grammar rules, it is strictly singular in construction in formal English--even when referring to multiples. As Betsy134556 said, it is commonly used with plural verb in everyday speech. I, personally, agree with Duo following more of a descriptive than prescriptive usage.
No, Vasiliy. But, specific translation aside, you could say 'NOT one of them is popular'. However, Duo are not helping by repeating a common mistake. As 'none' is a contraction, the sentence should read 'None of them IS popular'.
None is either singular or plural depending on context.
None of the people is voting = incorrect
None of the people are voting = correct
As John_Swede noted above there are insufficient grounds to assert that "none" takes the singular verb form. See http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/none
I liked this discussion of when none uses singular vs. plural: http://www.grammarmudge.cityslide.com/articles/article/1026513/9903.htm
If you are using the word
them, it will always will be plural except for “one of them.”
“None of them” means that multiple nouns are being referenced, therefore it is plural. You wouldn’t say “none of them” if you are talking about only one of something.
One of them is here. One of them is not here. Not one of them is here. Three of them are here. None of them are here.
Interesting analysis. You say that we should use the singular verb in the sentence "Not one of them is here", and I agree with you. I think that's what most native speakers would say.
But one of the definitions of "none" is "not one".
Since "none" can mean "not one", "None of them is here" should be just as acceptable as "Not one of them is here", which you have agreed is correct.
I think it may get down to how one interprets the word "none", regardless of the sentence in which it occurs. If you think of "none" as meaning "not one", then you are likely to prefer the singular verb. If you think of it as "not any", then you are likely to prefer the plural verb. But that's just my opinion, and as you can see from the comments on this page, there are many opinions, and even the experts do not always agree about what is correct.
Actually, most experts agree that taking none to be either not one or not any is equally correct. That means the context provides for the choice of singular or plural verb.
Zero hearts left, not even a quarter through. Palms sweating, eyebrows furrowing. I CAN GET THROUGH THIS.
Other words besides "pas" can be used with "ne" for negation, and "ne" does not have to come before the other element. In this case, the other word is "aucun" and it precedes "ne."
This article gives a good summary of French negation with links to detailed explanations for each type listed, and I'm sure there are others that are even more complete:
when aucun(e) acts on the subject of a sentence the structure is
aucun(e) + subject + ne + rest of sentence
aucun argent n'a été retrouvé. - No money was found.
Aucune d'entre elles n'est vivante. - None of them are alive.
Aucune d'entre elles n'est vivante. - None of them are alive.
What use is the 'entre' in this phrase? Can you explain? Is it actually literally something like 'not one amongst them are alive'? And could the 'entre' then actually be omitted entirely.
Again with the double negatives. I thought it was "none of them are not popular". Why is this false? Also, how can I tell the double negatives from the single negatives? I get a lot of sentences like this wrong.
From nicholas_ashley's comment above.
when aucun(e) acts on the subject of a sentence the structure is
aucun(e) + subject + ne + rest of sentence
So in this sentence n'est isn't another negative thrown into the sentence. The n in n'est is the trailing part of the Aucun acting on the subject.
Just one negative not two. Just one negative split into two parts just to mess with your head. I put the same answer as you for the same reason. However, I did wonder why there was no pas present to complete the apparent second negative. Seeing the correct answer, I now see that is because there is no second negative flowing from the ne that requires a pas to complete it. The ne completes the first negative.
Hope this helps.
larry and jazzy are right! "None" is singular. How could "not one" be plural?
Singular or plural, maybe neither and that is what makes this fun to debate. For a swede there is absolutely no problem with seeing "none" as plural. Let me write a silly example:
"In the room there are seven tall men".
None is short: 0 of them is short, when 0 is singular, is it? None are short: 7 of them are not short.
I guess we can debate this for another thousand years. Meanwhile the language evolves and the word "none" may very well have disappeared :)
"deux"? - "d'eux"? HOW THE FU&#@$/+#* ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE? NOT from this "translator"! Is this normal? Are they supposed to sound exactly the same? :-( :'(
From sound? You can't hear the difference. But from context you should be able to figure out that deux wouldn't make sense while d'eux would. But yeah I've got a comment above that I think more accurately explains the situation here.
Hi! I´ve put a negative word, in the sentense, but the Duolingo, did not acept it. N´est', I´ve saw it, so, I put not.
Popular myth....none is singular.
None is either singular or plural depending on use.
When none is used as not one it is singular
When none is used as not any it is plural.
“Not one / No one” and “None of them” are two entirely different constructs. People are debating whether none on its own is singular or plural and totally missing that “none of
them“ as a whole is the noun in this sentence. If you are using the word
“them” then it is always plural except in the case of “one of them.”
Not one guitar is cheap. One of them is cheap. Three of them are cheap. None of the guitars are cheap. None of them are cheap.
why is n' needed? doesn't this make it none of them is not popular ie double negative making them all popular??
No, it's not a double negative, any more than "ne....pas", "ne....rien", "ne....jamais" etc. are double negatives. You need both parts, including "ne", to make a negative ("ne" is sometimes omitted in casual speech, but that's a different situation).
So for example, "I never drive his car" is "Je ne conduis jamais sa voiture".
'None of them' in English can mean EITHER 'Not one of them' (in which case it is singular) OR 'Not any of them' (in which case it is plural.). If you mean the first then you say 'None of them is ...' and if you mean the second you say 'None of them are ...' So 'None of them is popular' should be accepted.
Good reasoning except none is followed by a phrase (of them) that tells you that in this sentence, none is plural.
For the benefit of the down voter:
Stunk & White, The Elements of Style, says: "Use the singular verb when the word means 'no one' or 'not one.'" "A plural verb is commonly used when 'none' suggests more than one thing or person"
You may disagree and may even find some authority to say it is optional. But Duo is taking (at last reading) the same position as many authorities. If none is used to mean singular then use singular verb, if it is used to mean plural (as in this Duo example) then use plural verb. Assuming Duo is consistent throughout its examples, this is a perfectly good practice to maintain.
Since it is largely a matter of style intended to make for a nice flow of words that don't interrupt the listener/reader's attention, it is good practice for students to follow. No one will object to matching plural with plural and singular with singular. However mixing them could easily provide a small distraction. If you are unconcerned about causing small distractions then you don't need to worry about it and can mix to your heart's content.
Subject is "none"- verb is "is" - none is singular so verb is also singular
The subject is “none of them” not “none.” Nouns can be compound and consist of two or more words.
In the senctence, “red hats are pretty”, the word “red” is not the subject. The subject is “red hats.”
I do agree that in this case a singular "is" should prevail. Is there a way to confirm it?
Please read the comments on the comments page before posting an identical comment that has already been shown to be incorrect.
I would say it should be N "None of them is popular." None meaning 'Not one".
If you are going to make a flat out generalization about the English language without doing any research, you could at least read the other comments on this page.
Agree! None means Not one, and it should therefore not be wrong to say Not one of them IS (not are!!!) this is basic English/grammar. None/not one of them is popular!!
None is not one, and hence singular so it should be 'None of them IS popular '. Likewise there is nothing wrong with writing 'Not one of them is popular'. This is such Basic English grammar but so basic that most UK graduates still get it wrong.
From grammar mudge:
A common misconception is that none must always be treated as singular. The customary support for this view is that none necessarily means "not one" (implying singularity); in fact, "none" is just as likely to imply "not any" (implying plurality). As noted in The American Heritage Dictionary: "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."
From writer's digest:
This is a major misconception. “None” can be a singular pronoun if it’s referring to “not one” or “no part,” but it also can be plural when referring to “not any.” None of the apple was eaten. Apple is a singular item, so you’d use the singular verb “was.” None of the ballplayers were on the team bus after the game. Here, “none” refers to “not any of the ballplayers” just as much as it refers to “not one of the ballplayers,” so it can be plural. Pluralizing it not only makes it a clearer sentence, but also makes it less awkward to read.
From dictionary reference:
None means 'not one' or 'not any' and it may take either a singular or plural verb. Writers are more or less free to decide which meaning is appropriate in their context. This grammatical construction, which is based on sense rather than form, is called notional agreement or notional concord, and is very common. So, consider none as singular when you want to emphasize a single entity in a group, but consider none to be plural when you want to emphasize more than one. Examples are: None of the books is/are worth reading. / None of us is/are going to the banquet. However, when none means 'no amount' or 'no part', it must be singular: None of the debris has been cleared away. / None of the forest is deciduous. So, if your meaning is 'none of them', treat the word as plural; if it is 'none of it', treat it as singular.
From grammar girl:
You may be chided by the uninformed when you follow "none" with a plural verb, but don’t be afraid to do so if your sentence calls for it.
From online grammar, quoting the Oxford Dictionary:
It is sometimes held that none can only take a singular verb, never a plural verb: none of them is coming tonight rather than none of them are coming tonight. There is little justification, historical or grammatical, for this view. None is descended from Old English nān meaning ‘not one’ and has been used for around a thousand years with both a singular and a plural verb, depending on the context and the emphasis needed.
From grammar book:
Rule: The word none is versatile. It has a plural sense (“not any”) as well as a singular sense (“not a single one”). When none is followed by of, look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition). If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, there is more leeway. Most of the time, but not always, you will want to use a plural verb.
Chaered, you are erudite and certainly illustrate one of the reasons that English is such a powerful language; it is continually evolving. I have no doubt that eventually "None of the ballplayers were on the bus" will be accepted as correct English but right now it grates on my ears and I consider it to be definitely wrong. Many changes have occurred in English over the years. The meaning of "presently" and "gay" come to mind; I abhor the first and applaud the latter. This forum is often more interesting than the lesson portion of Duolingo, isn't it?
It is indeed one of the biggest draws for me too about duo: the pleasure of debating language in the company of others who are interested in language for its own sake! Thanks for participating in this enjoyable pastime.
One of the recurring points of discussions here on English is the absence of an ultimate authority to appeal to for rulings of "correctness" in the language; there is no "English Academy". So the discussions start out without an agreed-upon definition of "correct" (at the risk of invoking Laynes Law ). There is a nebulous consensus that some linguistic authority figures carry weight: I see your Shakespeare, I raise you one Webster and a Tolkien! You quote me a poet laureate, I counter you a Pulitzer winner. It descends to Google stats and rap lyrics. Given the long and widespread use of English, you can find some support for almost any preference in diction.
My stance: There is a wide spectrum of positions one can take in stating an objection to some usage, ranging from "I personally do not really like that" to "anyone who uses that is complete moron who should never have graduated from the womb". The further to the latter end of that spectrum somebody starts out, the more I would expect him/her to bolster that position with supporting statements from the aforementioned pantheon of language grandmasters, because in not doing so the writer implicitly dons that mantle of language authority him/herself. In other words: the bolder the assumption, the more I'd want to see your credentials or the supporting cast. I will not challenge the sovereignty of your idiolect, but beyond that lies fair game.
May the owl be with you!
Fun is indeed to be had, dans plusieurs langues, mais surtout en anglais. Usage is king, and only ambiguity trumps that. Having met various experts; Oxford dons as well as US literary scholars & there is no 'correct' and no authority. things & rules change with time (as they become 'common parlance' and we pedants debate or discuss what we think, know or have been taught, but ultimately what matters is what is understood. Like implication and inference - in legal terms you can argue each side, but who is right and who wrong? All such discussion is academic & of course a game. Ultimately we all seek the truth, whatever that might be and as you say,'qui sait'. Amusant, n'est ce pas?
Nevertheless, I shall continue whilst reviewing/editing scientific papers/chapters to insist on 'none' being singular just as 'data' is plural, our discussions re linguistic grammar are fascinating & more esoteric than the simple scientific clarity required from most medical graduate/PhD students. It is wonderful to discourse with polyglots however, I'd say Gay is sadly & inappropriately used nowadays and can never again be used to describe a happy, merry individual without defining their sexuality!
Maybe it's British English, but I never heard anyone say "None of them is popular." I think "None of them are popular" makes more sense.
Or Australian, or Scottish, or Irish, or Canadian, or New Zealand-an. No wonder English has so many varieties.
And while I'm here, NONE is singular!!!!!!! This was reported a month ago by my friend, and it is STILL wrong. Sort it out DUOLINGO and employ some moderators that are native English speakers that actually know how to speak English correctly.
You know what would be really awesome?
If people like yourself, instead of shouting and stamping your feet and insisting that you're absolutely correct (because you happen to speak on behalf of ALL native English speakers in the world, that is), could actually reference your assertion with some kind of link proving your point.
You know, like some of the people who believe "none" can be plural have done.
yes, just google it! I am shocked how many people, having the full internet at there disposal, just post what they believe, without checking it first.
Should be 'is'. 'are' is heard and could be considered correct as a common usage, but few English teachers like it.