Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"None" and "Neither"

"None" is an abbreviated form of "not one". It can therefore only take a singular verb, never a plural verb.

It is OK to say "none of them is coming". It would be wrong to say "none of them are coming".

"Neither" is an abbreviated form of "not either". "Either" refers to singular alternatives: either this one or that one, it does not refer to both alternatives. Therefore "either" can only take a singular verb. The same goes for its negative form, "neither".

It is OK to say "either of them is all right". It would be wrong to say "either of them are all right".

Similarly, it is OK to say "neither of them is all right" and it would be wrong to say "neither of them are all right".

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