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No, none and none of

from English Grammar Today

No and none of are determiners. None is a pronoun. No, none and none of indicate negation.

No

We use no directly before nouns:

I’ve got no time to waste.

There are no people I recognise here.

She says she has no friends.

None

None is the pronoun form of no. None means ‘not one’ or ‘not any’. We use it as a pronoun to replace countable and uncountable nouns. We use it as subject or object:

Slorne stared … and seemed to try to find some strength which would let her speak. But none came. (No strength came.)

My mother had two brothers. My father had none. (My father didn’t have any brothers.)

A:

What reasons did he give?

B:

None.

When none is the subject, the verb is either singular or plural depending on what it is referring to.

I’m always looking for inspiration. None ever comes.

She’s always looking for ideas. None ever come.

Warning:

We don’t use none where we mean no one or nobody:

They had a wonderful time and luckily no one was injured.

Not: … and luckily none was injured.

None of

We use none with of before the, demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns:

None of his old friends knew what had happened to him.

It doesn’t matter. None of it was your fault.

We don’t use none of when there is already a negative word (not, n’t) in the clause:

She doesn’t remember any of us.

Not: She doesn’t remember none of us.

Warning:

When we are referring to two things or people, we use neither of rather than noneof:

We sat down at the table, just the two of us. He carried on eating his food. Neither of us said anything.

Not: None of us said anything.

In formal styles, we use none of with a singular verb when it is the subject. However, in informal speaking, people often use plural verbs:

None of that surprises me.

Indeed, none of his novels is well shaped or well written.

None of the products have been tested on animals and all the bottles are recyclable. (informal)

Typical error

  • We don’t use none directly before nouns. We use no + noun or none of + noun:

No children in my group caused any trouble. (or None of the children in my group …)

Not: None children in my group

(“No, none and none of” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
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