What Are Their Main Differences?
The main difference between these two terms is their meanings. 'Neither' refers to not one out of the two in a group, while 'none' refers to not even one in a group of more than two things.
What They Mean
means not one of the two options. In fact, 'neither' has different meanings and it can be used in different situations, because it has different grammatical functions, but in general, the meaning is none out of a group of two.
"Which car do you buy? The blue one or the red one?" "
means not any of the options (more than two options). In fact, it is obvious that there are more than two options in a group, and using 'none' means we are not referring to even one of them.
"What would you have, a bowl of soup, French fries, or steaks?" "
Are They Used With Singular or Plural Verbs?
(as the subject) is always used with a singular verb. However, sometimes in everyday English, you might hear 'neither' used with plural verbs, but it is technically wrong and the correct form is to use a singular verb with 'neither.'
(as the subject) can be used with either singular or plural verbs, based on things that it is referring to. We mean whether to use singular or plural verbs with 'none' depends on our purpose when we are talking if we are referring to more than one we have to use plural verbs and if we are talking about one individual it is better to use a singular verb.
"How many soldiers are killed?" "
"How much soup is left?" "
- as a determiner
- as a pronoun
- as a adverb
- as a conjunction
'Neither' as a determiner is used before singular countable nouns to define them. As a pronoun, it is used alone with no nouns after it, so it is used directly before the verb. 'Neither' as an adverb is used in sentences to agree with a negative statement; however, it is used with affirmative verbs, but it is a negative marker by itself. As a conjunction, it is usually followed by 'nor' and it is used to connect two clauses.
I didn't see a knight in the movie.
The sun cannot be vanished behind the clouds
- as a pronoun
As you know, pronouns are used alone before verbs. It means they are not followed by any nouns. Since 'none' is used as a pronoun, it is not followed directly by nouns.
None was left in the pizza box.
With the pronoun, 'none,' we are allowed to use both singular or plural nouns but keep in mind that using a singular verb is more formal and safer to use in writings. Remember using the plural form of the verb which is by the way an informal way of talking is more common to be used in American English.
Neither of and None of
As it was discussed pronouns cannot be used before nouns, so what if we want to use them before nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns? here is the tip; add the term 'of' to them so that they can be added to words other than verbs.
- 'Neither of'
is used before pronouns and noun phrases.
- 'None of':
is used before pronouns, noun phrases, and nouns (without determiner).
'None' cannot be followed immediately by a noun.
None children washed their hands.")
Affirmative Verb but Negative Meaning
- 'Neither' and 'none':
Both 'neither' and 'none' are followed by affirmative verbs, but the whole statement conveys a negative meaning. This is because 'neither' and 'none' both are negative markers so they themselves change the meaning of a sentence to negative and using a negative verb with them would make a double negative that is technically wrong in English
is not fit.")
are not fit.")
What about Negative Verbs?
Use 'any' instead of 'none' in negative sentences. 'Any' in negative sentences is followed by plural countable nouns. 'Any' can be used with both singular and plural verbs.
They didn't find
I don’t know
none of them.")
Use 'either' instead of 'neither' in negative sentences. The rules are the same. We use singular countable nouns after 'either' and it is followed by a singular verb in standard English.
I don’t like
I couldn't choose between