Nobody vs. None

Is there a difference between the words 'none' and 'nobody'? Can they be used interchangeably? Here, we will go through these two words.

"Nobody" vs. "None" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'nobody' and 'none' is that 'nobody' is used to refer to humans, but 'none' can refer to both humans and things.

I was looking for some books about Persia but found none.

(Referring to things)

I met many new people in the party, but none were from my country.

(Referring to people)

Their Second Difference

Another difference between 'nobody' and 'none' is that 'nobody' has no frame of reference, but 'none' does.
When we use 'none', we have a frame of reference, meaning we have a group of people or things in our mind and 'none' means no person or thing from that particular group.

Although they were good students, none had passed the test.

'None' refers to a specific group of good students (frame of reference).

'Nobody' as an indefinite pronoun, means no person, 'no one'. It is the negation of the pronoun 'somebody'.
We use 'anybody' to address a group of several people, but it's not a specific group of people (it can be anybody from any group of people).

Nobody called that day.

The speaker does not have any particular group of people in mind (no frame of reference).

'None' means not any (one) of a given number or group of things.

None of the people at the party talked to Sarah.

They're Both Negative Makers

'None' and 'nobody' are both negative makers, meaning they don't need another negative words in a sentence.

We bought two pairs of shoes and they bought none. (Not ...and they didn't buy none.)

Nobody came. (Not Nobody didn't come.)

None: Singular or Plural Verb?

If 'none' is followed by an "of phrase", look at the noun to to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb.

  1. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb.
  2. If the object of the preposition is plural, use either a singular or plural verb.

None of the pizza was left.

None of the guys were/was hungry.

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