Using plural or singular verb after “neither” and “none”

With reference to “Neither”, “none”, “no one” + [of them] + verb-s

None of the above sentences is strictly correct.

Neither of the above sentence/sentences is/are strictly correct.

Tense choice problem The person has used are with none. This contradicts above notion of using singular with none. Which is more correct?

The first sentence is perfectly fine, but I’m getting confused from the second sentence. In this sentence, how would we decide about antecedents? Can we use both sentence interchangeably?

Answer

Although there are many people that claim that “none” and “neither” should always take the singular form, it’s always sounded odd to me, so I decided to dig into it a bit further.

For example, here is an Ngram of “none of us is” / “none of us are”:

Ngram

In this case, we can clearly see that “none of us are” – i.e. the supposedly “ungrammatical” form of the sentence was vastly more popular until roughly 1880. In 1880 or so “none of us is” began to take hold, and in the 1920s there was a steep decline in the use of “none of us are” – perhaps in response to overzealous copy editors enforcing the so called rule.

Most interesting is what’s happened since the 1990s, where “none of us are” has shot back to prominence, leading to the fact that “none of us are” is now the dominant form again.

As suggested by snailplane, here’s some interesting additional reading which seems to confirm my opinion that “none/neither should take the singular” is a wholly invented rule:

As a native speaker, I’ve always just gone with choosing the verb as if “none” or “neither” was not taking part in the verb choice.

The sentences are too long. -> None of the sentences are too long

A or B is the correct answer -> Neither A nor B is the correct answer.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Sudhir , Answer Author : Community

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