None of my family (is / are) living

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JuanJoseMolina

Member
Spanish
Is "none of my family" singular or plural? Buscando en google he encontrado las dos versiones del verbo: are / is.
En castellano sería singular "Nadie de mi familia está vivo.. / Ni un miembro de mi familia sigue vivo." Pero en inglés no lo tengo tan claro.
 
  • Mr.Dent

    Senior Member
    English - all over the USA
    It depends. Perhaps the easiest way to determine is to determine whether the insertion of the word 'members' into the sentence conveys the meaning you wish. None of my family members are living.
    The Kennedy family is famous -- the family as a whole, as a single unit.
    The Kennedy family members are famous -- the individual family members.

    So basically it depends on whether you sees the noun as a unit or as individuals. Offhand I am not sure if there are exceptions to this rule. and I am not sure about any differences between British and American English.
     

    elirlandes

    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    The rule is that "none" is a singular noun. Its etymology suggests "no one" or "not one".
    None of them is...
    Many english speakers get this wrong and "are" is becoming more and more used (and accepted?).
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    The rule is that "none" is a singular noun. Its etymology suggests "no one" or "not one".
    None of them is...
    Many English speakers get this wrong and "are" is becoming more and more used (and accepted?).
    I agree. This change has probably already made the leap to being considered acceptable, if not outright correct. There are many websites where language "authorities" argue that "none" was never intended to mean "no one," and cite famous authors of the past as evidence. Personally, I still use the singular form after none, but for the purposes of English learners, it's probably not helpful to preach this rule too much.

    Juan, you can avoid this problem by rewording the translation.

    Ni un miembro de mi familia sigue vivo = No one in my family is still alive = I have no living family members
     

    Mr.Dent

    Senior Member
    English - all over the USA
    None can take either a singular or plural verb.
    A common misconception is that none is always singular because it is short for no one. However, it is just as likely to mean not any, implying a plural...

    The online Oxford Dictionaries states:
    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.

    Top 10 grammar myths: none always takes a singular verb - Online Grammar
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Is "none of my family" singular or plural? Buscando en google he encontrado las dos versiones del verbo: are / is.
    En castellano sería singular "Nadie de mi familia está vivo.. / Ni un miembro de mi familia sigue vivo." Pero en inglés no lo tengo tan claro.
    None significa "not any", no "not one" y no "no one", y puede ser o singular o plural:

    None of the cheerleaders is able to be here tonight.:tick:
    None of the cheerleaders are able to be here tonight.:tick:


    Pero:

    None of this onion is edible.
    :cross:

    Parte de un singular debe ser singular.

    Sin embargo, family, especialmente en el inglés británico, puede ser singular:

    My family are all here tonight.:tick:
    None of my family are here tonight.:tick:


    A pesar de todo esto, creo que yo diría:

    Nobody else in my family is still alive.
    Not a single other member of my family is still alive.
     
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