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  5. "None of them is here."

"None of them is here."

Translation:Nie ma tu żadnej z nich.

April 4, 2016



The english translation should be none of them are here, as them is plural


[FAQ] Is none singular or plural?

Short answer (for UK and US English):

• None of them is here. [singular]
• None of them are here. [plural]
are both correct, though plural is less common.

@starybeznazwy: Your idea that is/are must agree with them is incorrect, as Tom873317 indicates. Indeed,
• None of it is here.
is also possible, e.g. if I expected to find a bar of chocolate (maybe partly eaten) – but "none of it is left!"

Long answer:
Much of this page discusses the FAQ, so I asked a friendly UK copy editor to clarify. He says that none sometimes means not any; a possible context is: "My annual leave request must be approved by a senior member of staff, but none of them is here today. [just one of them is needed]"

He also pointed me to the standard reference work
RW Burchfield (ed.) The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, OUP, 1996
which states

None is not a shortening of no one but is the regular descendant of [Old English] nān (pronoun) 'none, not one'. At all times since the reign of King Alfred the choice of plural or singular in the accompanying verbs, etc., has been governed by the surrounding words or by the notional sense. Examples¹:

• A fear which … none understands (T.S. Eliot, 1935)
• None of these people was very interesting (F. Tuohy, 1984)
• None of the money has been spent on repairs (CGEL, 1985)

• We [developed] arts organizations in places where there were none. [Dædalus, 1986]
• None of our fundamental problems have been solved (London Rev. Bks, 1987)
• Though she had many affairs, none were lighthearted romances (New Yorker, 1987)

Verdict: use a singular verb where possible but if the notion of plurality is present a plural verb has been optional since the [Old English] period and in some circumstances is desirable.
• None of them has finished their essays is better than the clumsy
• … has finished his or her essay."

   ¹ Fowler uses examples from both UK and US sources.

To avoid the pitfalls of none, non-native English speakers may sometimes prefer the safer, simpler no-one = no one | nobody suggested by JanKLinde—always singular, but for persons only (i.e. not for bars of chocolate, money, etc.)
                  ··· ↻ [8 Jul 2020 09:02 UTC]


But "none" is the subject, not "them". The first page of google results for "none is or none are" seems pretty unanimous that both work.


That's accepted as well.


Agreed, This sentence is grammatically incorrect in English


No it is correct. Both forms are common. I slightly prefer the singular as "none" is a contraction of "not one" and one would definitely say "Not one is here".


Disagree no-one does equal not one and since nought is neither singular nor plural. It is dancing on the head of a pin to say either is wrong.


In which situation are the two different answers used?

  • 1782

What do you mean as the "two different answers" ?


Sorry I should have specified it in my original post, since I can't recall it now. Besides "Nie ma tu żadnej z nich." there was another suggested answer. I think the only difference was in "żadnej", which was instead another negation-word. Or maybe in "nich".

  • 1782

I see. I suppose it might be:

  • Nie ma tu żadnej z nich - "None of them is here" , and both the persons are feminine, or both nouns are feminine type. Like "Czy jest tu moja mama albo babcia? -- Nie ma tu żadnej z nich" [Is here my mother or grandma? -- None of them is here]
  • Nie ma tu żadnego z nich - "None of them is here" , and both the persons are masculine or neutral, or nouns are masculine/neutral type : "Czy jest tu Jacek albo Marek? -- Nie ma tu żadnego z nich" [Is Jack or Mark here? -- None of them is here]
  • Nie ma tu nikogo z nich - "None of them is here" if gender is mixed:

See also the negation pronouns nikt, nic and the negation pronoun żaden (żadna, żadne) or nikt, nic in English - żaden is not described on the English page.


At the inclination of the use.


Why is this wrong: "tu nie ma zadnego z nich"?


Well, seems okay to me. Added.


is this correct: 'Żaden z nich są tutaj'

  • 1782

No. "Żaden" is a singular form, just like the English "nobody" - it requires verb in sigular:

"żaden jest" = "nobody is", "no one is"

There is also a plural form of this negation pronoun: "żadni/żadne", which requires verb in plural, but it is used in other types of phrases.


Got it. so the correct form would be 'Żaden z nich jest tutaj'.... ? i was confused regarding the structure of the sentence, since the solutions shown by duolingo started off more like ' nie ma tu .... '

  • 1782

so the correct form would be 'Żaden z nich jest tutaj'.... ?

Actually, no. The correct version is "Żadnego (genitive case required in negations) z nich tutaj nie ma". An awkward, but comprehensible version would be "Żaden z nich nie jest tutaj". Why so?

First, in Polish, a multiple negation is not an error, just the opposite: it is allowed and to some degree even required by the grammar (some samples below). You may understand it as if the negation pronouns were incomplete: they need the verb to be negated again (if there is a verb; for phrases without verb - yes, in Polish there are cases of implied verb - they are enough for negation). Important note: negation "nie" always must directly precede the verb - no matter where the verb and negation pronoun are placed in the phrase. Otherwise the phrase will be understood as if not the main statement, but some other part of it was negated and the whole meaning of the phrase would most probably go astray.

Second, in Polish, there is one verb used for "to be", and another one for "not to be". This is a heritage of the Proto-Indo-European language, in which "to be" was just "to be", but "not to be" was a form derived from "not have/not own" (so to say, because "something that does not exist, cannot be"). At first, in PIE it was used only in 3-rd person, but later was extended to all the persons, and exactly the same way it still used in Polish. Hence:

  • Nie ma mnie tu = I am not here; or more literally This place does not have me (of course nobody would translate it into English like that)
  • Nie ma ciebie tam = You are not there; or more literally That place does not have you
  • Nie ma nikogo tu or better Nikogo tu nie ma = Nobody is here; or more literally This place does not have anybody

And again about the multiple negation thing: sometimes it is correct to use only one fold negation, but this is quite rare, and can be found only in relatively short phrases:

  • Czy masz swój kapelusz? [Do you have your hat?] -- Nie mam [I do not have]

In most cases, double negation would be used:

  • Czy masz swój kapelusz? [Do you have your hat?] -- Nie, nie mam [No, I do not have]

Sometimes, triple negation may be observed:

  • Czy masz (jakiś) kapelusz? [Do you have (a) hat?] -- Nie, nie mam żadnego [No, I do not have any] or more literally [No, I do not have 'none']

Sometimes a quadruple or even more fold negation may be observed - used for example for greater expression.

  • Czy pijesz piwo? [Do you drink beer] -- Nie, nigdy nie piję żadnego piwa [No, I don't 'never' drink 'no' beer] (I know, that it is a sample of incorrect English)
  • Czy byłeś kiedyś w Londynie? [Have you ever been to London?] -- Nie, nigdy nie byłem w żadnym Londynie [No, I 'have't' never been to 'no' London]


Could it be "żaden nie jest", instead of "żaden jest," because of the double negation?


It has to be "żadnego nie ma" not "żaden nie jest" , and it cannot be "żaden jest". żaden is not used in affirmative, it has to be a negation.


Why does it require "ma" and doesn't allow "jest"?

  • 1782

See my explanation for ajmaeen.


"Żaden z nich nie jest tutaj"

So "jest" can be correct in this scenario?

  • 1782

No, in this very phrase it is not correct, even if some speakers of Polish could say so. But I did not know why exactly, so I had to ask someone who knows the Polish grammar a bit better than I do.

It would be only comprehensible, because the part "Żaden z nich nie jest ..." is correct in other type of grammatical structures: in phrases with complex predicate, which consists of one of a few verbs similar to być [to be] or stać się [to become sb/sth] + another word describing the state of subject, that word in most cases would be a noun, noun phrase, adjective, participle, pronoun, adverb or numeral. A few samples with complex predicate that look similar to the above phrase:

  • "Tam jest kilka szklanek, ale żadna z nich nie jest zielona." - There are some glasses there, but none of them is green.
  • "Weszło kilku ludzi, ale żaden z nich nie był żołnierzem." - A few persons entered, but none of them was a soldier
  • "Mam kilku przyjaciół, ale żaden z nich nie jest obecny." - I have a few friends, but none of them is present

Some other, completely different phrases with a complex predicate:

  • "Po studiach został lekarzem." - After studies he became a doctor.
  • "Kiedyś będę sławny." - Someday I will be famous.
  • "To staje się irytujące." - That is becoming annoying.
  • "Telefon okazał się zepsuty." - The phone turned out to be broken.
  • "Przez chwilę wydawał się tobą." - For a while he seemed to be you
  • "Teraz już problem stał się twój." - The problem now became yours.
  • "To brzmi zaskakująco." - This sounds surprisingly.

Attention: "Żaden z nich nie jest tutaj" would not be a phrase with complex predicate (I write would be, because it is not a correct phrase).

The affirmative sentence would be for example "Jeden z nich jest tutaj" One of them is here , so in a negative sentence the general rule of using the pair of verbs "jest" - "nie ma" must be applied: "Żadnego z nich nie ma tutaj".


>Attention: "Żaden z nich nie jest tutaj" would not be a phrase with complex predicate (I write would be, because it is not a correct phrase).

>The affirmative sentence would be for example "Jeden z nich jest tutaj"

I'm still missing what's the key difference,because of which affirmative sentence can use "jest", but negative not.

Most of your explanation gave me impression that "jest" can be only used with complex predicate and that it can't be used solely, i.e. it can't mean "exist"/"be"(right now I'm referring to "be" when used alone, without complex predicament), but then, the "Jeden z nich jest tutaj" uses word "jest" in exactly same situation I thought was not allowed

  • 1782

You can use "jest" in affirmative sentences, no matter whether it is a complex predicate or a simple one.

With the negative sentences it is different.

If we speak about properties or state of the subject, they are described by complex predicate: a verb + another word, that relates directly do the subject, describes the subject in some way. So in a negative phrase, the subject may be "not green", "not present", "not interesting" etc... Please note that in this type of sentence, being "present" (or not) is a property of the subject, not its localisation.

If we speak about existence or localisation of something (existence in general, or in a specified place) - the word "here" (or its equivalent: "there", "in London", "at work" etc...) relates to the localisation of the subject, not its property. In this type of phrases there is a simple predicate (just the negated verb). Then, in negative phrase you have to say "nie ma" (+ genitive) instead of "nie jest" - as I described it in the other comment.


These explanations are way beyond me. Could someone please explain in words of one syllable and in about three lines? Many thanks


Will be hard with the syllables... and lines as well, I'm afraid. Anyway:

First, an easier example: "She is not here". Polish uses quite a weird construction for 'not being somewhere'. You have simple "Ona jest tutaj" (She is here), but if you negate it, you arrive at "Nie ma jej tutaj" (literally "There has not her here"), with "her" being in Genitive. It's just a construction you have to remember, because frankly, it's hard to find logic in it.

Secondly, let's focus on the noun phrase "None of them". The creator of this particular sentence wrote it in Polish as "none of them" = "none of those girls/women". So "None of them is here: Sandy's not here, Anna's not here, Judy's not here". The feminine version of "none" is "żadna", and as Genitive is used here, it changes into "Żadnej z nich". 'z' here means 'of', and it itself also takes Genitive, that's why 'nich' is the right form.

As for "tu" and "tutaj", they are interchangeable, but "tu" really sounds clumsy at the end of the sentence. Putting "tutaj" at the end, if it can be avoided, is also not recommended, it gives a strong emphasis on "HERE". Ergo, "Żadnej z nich tutaj nie ma". "nie ma" goes at the end, because them 'not being' here is the new, most important information.

  • 1782

It's just a construction you have to remember, because frankly, it's hard to find logic in it.

Actually, there is an explanation for this structure. There is a hypothesis, that it dates from the Pre-Indo-European language, in which existed a verb, that in some situations meant "to be", in other "to have" (this verb, habeo/habere existed also in ancient Latin - which also comes from P.I.E., a branch different than Polish). In P.I.E. only something that existed could "be". Something that did not exist could not "be". Instead, there was another structure to say the "non existence" of something: "the place does not have that thing" (I recall a similar structure in Spanish, e.g. "No hay agua en la piscina" may be also said "La piscina no tiene agua" - "There is no water in the pool"; the Spanish "tener" is "to have").

Before Proto-Slavic language evolved from P.I.E., and then Polish from Proto-Slavic - this verb split into 2 verbs: one meaning "to be", another "to have". But the structure itself persisted.

Therefore in Polish we say "something is", but "(a place) does not have something". And the implied location disappeared from this structure during the five thousand years of the development of Polish from P.I.E. leading to a shorter structure "does not have something", which is not that strange in Polish, where phrases without subject are very common and absolutely correct, e.g. "Pada" means "(It) rains".


In English, both constructions are permissible:

  • There is no water in the pool.
  • The pool has no water.

  • There is no museum in this town.
  • This town has no museum.

  • 1782

"tutaj" should also be accepted


Dlaczego tutaj jest "żadnej?"


it could be "żadnego" without context you can't tell which gender you should use.

none /no+ something = żaden/żadna/żadne

"nie ma" needs genitive - żadnego/żadnej/ żadnego


Oh. Teraz rozumiem. Dziękuję bardzo! :)


Doesn't this translate to! There is none of them here


This is also an accepted answer.


Its sentences like this that make me realise i know nothing in Polish


ajdedinburgh: Do not give up! Insist!


Would it be correct in saying that the nominative forms for 'none' are: żaden, żadna, żadne? Is żadny a different word and if so how would it be used? Is żadny a synonym to jakiś? Thank you

  • 1782

The word "żadny" does not exist, it is an incorrect spelling of "żaden".


Thank you, that explains a lot! So the different forms of żaden are used to mean 'none' and the different forms of jakiś are used to mean 'any'?

  • 1782

I think that you should not equate these words, because in Polish and English they are used in different ways.

(1) Polish language has 2 conditionals: real (in past, in present, in future) and unreal (in past = in present).


I'm sorry, but this is one of the most weirdly constructed sentences that I have seen so far. Nothing about it makes any intuitive sense. It cannot be parsed, but just has to be accepted as having that meaning.


I'm very confused about this sentence. None of them is here, suggests that it is plural, at least two persons of a group are not there. That is why I chose: Nie ma tu żadnych z nich. Polish native speaker confirmed. It was marked as wrong. He also said that żadnego (alternative given)refers to a single person which should be in English "No one of them is here".


It was already mentioned in the comments before: "none" means "not one", so it's grammatically singular. (Well, there's actually a lot to read here...) That's why "is" and not "are" is used in the English sentence. So you should also use the singular in the translation.

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