Neither vs. None
Generally, these two words have many similarities and slight differences. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.
What Is Their Main Difference?
'Neither' means not one of the two options.
'Which car do you buy? The blue one or the red one?' '
Singular or Plural Verb?
'Neither' can be used as a:
As a pronoun, it is used alone with no nouns after it, so it is used directly before the verb.
'Neither' as a pro-sentence substitutes sentences to agree with a negative statement; however, it is used with affirmative verbs, because it is a negative marker by itself.
I didn't see a knight in the movie.
The sun cannot be vanished behind the clouds
'None' means not any of the three or more options.
"What would you have, a bowl of soup, French fries, or steaks?" "
Singular or Plural Verb?
'None' (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?' '
'None' can be used as a:
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' as an adverb is used in some fixed expressions such as:
- none the better
- none the worse
- none the wiser
- none too
Singular or Plural Verbs?
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.")
- '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.")