none / no one

cheshire

Senior Member
Japanese
Judy:Have any guests arrived?
Cindy:No, none have arrived./No one has arrived.
Which should be chosen for an answer? Is the latter to express that "not even one person has arrived"?

No admissions are permitted.
Can we replace it with "No admission is permitted"?
 
  • difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    The question appears to require a yes/no answer so the first is better.
    If you used the second it would be understood. It would be a better answer though if you were to say
    No, no-one has arrived.
    "No admission is permitted" is fine.
     

    difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    My apologies, I added the hyphen to make it clear that what was being said was "nobody has arrived" rather than "No, one has arrived" (punctuation added to clarify difference in meaning).
    What I was really trying to show, was the difference between the two answers that you could choose between.
    One had "no" as a negative response to the question, the other had "no one" meaning "nobody", but did not actually answer "yes" or "no" to the question.
    Have I managed to clear it up?
     

    Giordano Bruno

    Senior Member
    English, England
    Just to add to the confusion, you can also say, "None of the guests has arrived." This form tends to emphasize that not a single guest has turned up whereas "None of the guests have arrived" simply means that they are not here yet.
     

    Arinan

    New Member
    English USA
    Just to add to the confusion, you can also say, "None of the guests has arrived." This form tends to emphasize that not a single guest has turned up whereas "None of the guests have arrived" simply means that they are not here yet.

    I would like to disagree with this. "None of the guests has arrived" would be grammatically incorrect regardless of emphasis because "guests" is plural and "has" is singular. The verb and the noun have to agree in plurality.

    "None of the guests have arrived" works just fine. If you wanted to add emphasis you could say "Not one of the guests has arrived." In this case "has" is used because it is referring to "one" a singular guest, which I believe is the meaning you were trying to get with your first example. :)

    Going back to the original question:

    Judy:Have any guests arrived?
    Cindy:No, none have arrived./No one has arrived

    Either of these forms works just fine in conversation. The real difference that I see is that "none have arrived" is dependent on the phrase before it, because without the antecedent (guests) anyone hearing it would have no idea what Cindy meant. "No-one has arrive" is clearly referring to people, probably guests.

    In practical terms, I'd probably use the first in a situation in which I knew for sure that the other person could hear me clearly, and the second when it's noisy or for some reason I doubt that the other person will be sure of my meaning. If they're very busy, for example, and might have forgotten what they asked.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I would like to disagree with this. "None of the guests has arrived" would be grammatically incorrect regardless of emphasis because "guests" is plural and "has" is singular. The verb and the noun have to agree in plurality.
    None is grammatically singular.

    It must be, formally:

    "None of the guests has arrived."

    Only this form will be (singular) will be acceptable on grammar tests. :)

    Gaer
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    None has been used as either singular or plural for hundreds of years.
    I don't doubt this is true, but there are some outlets in which "None have" will never pass muster in AE. If someone is responding to a question on a test of English grammar, I don't think s/he can go wrong pairing none with a singular verb (at least in the U.S.), whereas using a plural verb might be marked "wrong" by some.

    Elisabetta
     

    bellerophon

    Member
    English - Canada
    Just to add to the confusion, you can also say, "None of the guests has arrived." This form tends to emphasize that not a single guest has turned up whereas "None of the guests have arrived" simply means that they are not here yet.

    And more food for thought...It seems to me that "None of the guests has arrived" implies that there are none of the guests there yet, but there may be others who have shown up (eg. party-organizers, employees, non-guests); whereas, "No one has arrived" would imply that not a single person (guest or otherwise) has shown up!

    Although, this is getting rather anal isn't it...
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you everyone for your help, I'd say this thread and the link Panjy provided are ones of the most impressive threads I've read here.

    river said:
    None (no one) was interested in the topic.
    None of the people (them) were interested in the topic.
    Fifteen foreros have opinions. None is best.
    Fifteen foreros are thinking about this. None are sure of the answer.
    I'll stick to that!
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Thank you everyone for your help, I'd say this thread and the link Panjy provided are ones of the most impressive threads I've read here.

    I'll stick to that!
    However, as has been pointed out by others, many conservatives will mark these wrong:

    None of the people (them) were was interested in the topic.

    The problem is similar to the "everyone" problem. Quite obviously "everyone" is about many people, yet it must be grammatically singular according to conservatives.

    In the same way, "none" has nothing to do with how many. If I say, "None of the people has completed the test," this still refers to all the people. This is strictly a grammar rule, one that I personally believe can and should sometimes be broken (see Panj's post), but beware of this usage not only tests but also when writing any kind of formal paper that will be graded.
    ====
    Fifteen foreros are thinking about this. None is are sure of the answer.

    Again, if you use "are", you are in great danger of getting marked down when writing. If you are aware of this, feel free to use either singular or plural in speech. ;)

    Gaer
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    That's a good advice, I'll have it on the corners of my brain.
    But I have a feeling that "none are" would get less opposition than when we say "everyone are," wouldn't it?
     

    kogura

    Member
    Catalan and spanish
    Hi, I have just found this old discussion and to mess the thread a bit more I have to say that between NONE and NO ONE there must be some grammatical meaning we haven't been able to work out.
    I took an exam and one of the quesions was something similar to:

    How many elephants are in the picture?
    a)none
    b)no one

    If any of you know the difference I would thank you deeply because I'm racking my brain trying to distinguish them.
    Thanks!
     

    kogura

    Member
    Catalan and spanish
    I see. So no-one can ONLY be used with people. And none? I can use none with both (people and things/animals), right? Or not? Like in: How many students attend the conference? -None/no-one.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I see. So no-one can ONLY be used with people. And none? I can use none with both (people and things/animals), right? Or not? Like in: How many students attend the conference? -None/no-one.
    None is a response to "how many".
    No one is a response to "who".

    So, "How many students attended the conference?" - Answer, "None."
    "Who attended the conference?" - Answer, "No one."
     
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