No One vs. None

What is the difference between 'no one' and 'none'? Do they have the same meaning? Let's discuss these two indefinite pronouns and see for ourselves.

"No One" vs. "None" in English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

'No one' is an indefinite pronoun used to refer to a singular person.
'None' is a pronoun used to refer to both singular and plural people AND things.

No one knows what's going to happen in the future.

None know/knows what's going to happen in the future.

I was looking for some books about history in the library, but none was/were found.

No One

'No one' is an indefinite pronoun that shows the absence of a person, i.e. it means 'not anyone; no person'. Sometimes, people write 'no one' with a dash → 'no-one'.

They Are Both Negative Makers

'No one' and 'none' are both negative markers and they can make a sentence negative. So, we don't need a negative verb or use another negative word like 'NOT' with these particular pronouns.

No one came to our party.

No one didn't come to our party.

None

'None' means not any (one) (of) a given number or group of things. It can take singular or plural verbs.

None of these watches work.

None of these watches works.

None of + an uncountable noun → singular verb

None of the bread was eaten.

None of + plural nouns/collective nouns → singular/plural verb
(The singular form is used in formal British English)

None of the buses is going to Central Park.

None of the buses are going to Central Park.

None of the committee seem to agree.

None of the committee seems to agree.

No + noun → none

If you can use 'nobody' or 'nothing', use them and forget about 'none'.
If your noun is the word 'person' or 'thing', we prefer the pronouns 'nobody/no one' and 'nothing'. For example:

I went to the movies, but I saw nobody (not a person).

I lost everything and now I have nothing (not a thing).

Take a look at these examples and consider the difference:

- 'How many sodas have you got in the fridge?' - 'None.'

= no sodas, but maybe we have juice and water, etc.

- 'What have you got in the fridge?' - 'Nothing.'

= not a thing, the fridge is empty.

'None' is a pronoun used to refer to both singular and plural people AND things.

He has two houses and she has none. (= no houses = countable thing)

I bought a lot of beer, but now there is none. (= no beer = uncountable thing)

I asked many people, but none knew the answer. (= no people)

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