None vs. Neither

None and neither are two words that are important in the English language. But for some reason, they are sometimes misunderstood.

What Are Their Main Differences?

'None' means almost nothing and neither means none of the two options.

Differences

Grammatical Functions

  • 'Neither' can be:
  1. a determiner
  2. a pronoun
  3. an adverb
  4. a conjunction
  • 'None' is mostly used:
  1. as a pronoun

Neither player wants to get fired. →determiner

Would you like cake or ice cream? Neither, I am on a diet. → pronoun

"I don't like horror movies." "Me neither." → adverb

Neither our mother nor our father spoke English. → conjunction

None of us knew him as much as Sara did. → pronoun

What They Refer to

  • 'None':

refers to not one in a group of three or more options.

  • 'Neither':

refers to not one in a group of two options.

Neither his mother nor his wife cares about his financial problems.

None of the students wanted to take the exam.

Followed by a Noun

  • 'None':

is not followed by any noun immediately, because it is a pronoun.

  • 'Neither':

is followed by singular nouns.

Neither child is old enough to talk.

None was worth the effort to go to the cinema. Both films were disasters.

Similarities

Verbs That Can Follow None and Neither

  • 'None':

is followed by affirmative singular verbs.

  • 'Neither':

is followed by affirmative singular verbs.

"Which one is the best ?" "None is even acceptable."

neither course is my favorite, I have always wanted to be a doctor.

None of and Neither of

  • 'None of':

can be used before a plural countable noun, determiners, or pronouns.

  • 'Neither of':

can be used before a plural countable noun, determiners, or pronouns.

None of my friends is into sports.

Neither of the two books had an interesting story to tell.

Singular Verb or Plural Verb?

Whenever there is a plural noun after 'neither of' and 'none of' we are allowed to use both singular and plural verbs, but it is safer to use singular verbs.

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