Sparky: Let's eat out tonight.
Mr.Maru: That sounds like a great idea.
Sparky: Where do you want to go?
Mr.Maru: We could go to the new Thai place, the Mexican place, or the Italian place on 1st Ave.
Sparky: None of those places sound good.
Mr.Maru: Well, how about a restaurant in the Pearl District?
Sparky: That's an excellent place. Each of those restaurants have a different kind of beer.
Mr.Maru: When did you start drinking?
(NOTE: Sparky is speaking incorrectly according to prescriptive grammar.)
What verb do we use with 'none of …' or 'each of …'? Do we use a singular verb or a plural verb with these? Well, it depends. Let's look at few examples and rules.
We can use 'none of …' to mean 'not one of …'. The rule for what type of verb you use with this depends on whether we are talking about prescriptive grammar or descriptive grammar. For more details about the differences between these two types of grammars, please read prescriptive grammar vs. descriptive grammar. According to prescriptive grammar, 'none of …' should use a singular verb. For example,
None of the hotels is available.
This doesn't sound very natural though. Most native speakers will not follow this rule. So according to descriptive grammar, we will use a plural verb. For example,
None of the cars are clean. We have to clean them all.
In general, it is okay to use a plural verb, but some people might not like it. If you are writing to some one who really likes grammar, be sure to use the singular. If you are not writing to someone who really likes grammar, using the plural verb is perfectly fine.
We can use 'each of...' to mean 'every one individual'. The use of a singular or plural verb also depends on if we are talking about descriptive grammar or prescriptive grammar. The following sentences are correct according to prescriptive grammar:
Each of the hotels has a pool.
However, most native speakers will use a plural verb. For example,
Each of the candidates look good. I can't decide who to vote for.
Again, in general, it is okay to use a plural verb, but some people might not like it. On a test, you should probably use a singular verb, but in real life, you should use the plural verb.
Do you think you understand? Let's take a short quiz.
1) None of the apples _______ good to me.
2) Each of the houses on my block ________ Christmas lights up.
3) None of the them _______ the way to the park.
1) - B) – In prescriptive grammar, we must use singular verbs.
2) - B) – In prescriptive grammar, we must use singular verbs.
3) - A) – In descriptive grammar, we can use plural verbs.
|Last Updated on Monday, 06 December 2010 14:32|