6

That car is way better than any car any of us have/has ever driven.

None of us know/knows which direction Ron's house is (in).

I have two questions here.

  1. In both the cases, are we to use the singular verb, or the plural?

  2. In the end of the second sentence, is using the preposition where it's been used, necessary? Would it be okay if it had no prepositions in it?

  • Merriam-Webster has a good explaination for this. Watch it m.youtube.com/watch?v=Kte0VHe1aUI – user178049 Oct 31 '16 at 10:29
  • Apparently, any is always singular. – user178049 Oct 31 '16 at 10:31
  • What about the preposition at the end of the second sentence? Would the sentence be okay without it? @user178049 – lekon chekon Oct 31 '16 at 20:49
  • @user178049 Nope. Any is not always singular, but that's a myth of long standing. – snailboat Nov 25 '16 at 23:01
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+25

The following extract from Dictionary.com suggests that both the singular and the plural verb form are correct after "none". Usage depends on the emphasis that you want to give to "none" as either a singular or a plural subject. Also evidence from Ngram shows both usages are common.

  • None means ‘not one’ or ‘not any’ and it may take either a singular or plural verb.

  • Writers are more or less free to decide which meaning is appropriate in their context. This grammatical construction, which is based on sense rather than form, is called notional agreement or notional concord, and is very common.

  • So, consider none as singular when you want to emphasize a single entity in a group, but consider none to be plural when you want to emphasize more than one.

Examples are:

  • None of the books is/are worth reading. / None of us is/are going to the banquet. However, when none means ‘no amount’ or ‘no part’, it must be singular:None of the debris has been cleared away. / None of the forest is deciduous. So, if your meaning is ‘none of them’, treat the word as plural; if it is ‘none of it’, treat it as singular.

Similarly any of can take both constructions according to the meaning conveyed:

  • When used as a pronoun, "any" can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on how it is construed: Any of these books is suitable (that is, any one). But are any (that is, some) of them available?
2

Concerning None have/None has

"none" has been used with both singular and plural verbs since the 9th century.

Fact: Only when none is clearly intended to mean “not one” or “not any” is it followed by a singular verb in all other cases it is plural.

One special problem occurs with the word none, which has its origin in the phrase not one. Because of that original meaning, many writers insist that none always be singular, as not one clearly is. However, a more accurate way to assess its meaning is to recognize none as the negative, or opposite, of all and to treat it in the same way, with its number determined by the number of the modifier.

Examples from Martha Kolln, Rhetorical Grammar:

  • All of the cake was left.
  • None of the cake was left.


  • All of the cookies were left.

  • None of the cookies were left.

Advice given by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis is typical: “Consider none as singular when you want to emphasize a single entity in a group. Consider it plural when you want to emphasize more than one

  • None of us is going to the party.
  • None of us are going to the party.

When none is followed by a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted or made plural) it takes a singular verb. Source.

  • None of the wine was drunk. (wine = mass noun)

Note: Apparently, the SAT testing service considers none as a singular word only. However, according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, “Clearly none has been both singular and plural since Old English and still is. The notion that it is singular only is a myth of unknown origin that appears to have arisen in the 19th century. If in context it seems like a singular to you, use a singular verb; if it seems like a plural, use a plural verb. Both are acceptable beyond serious criticism” (p. 664)

Concerning Any have/Any has

First of all: We use any of to refer to a part of a whole:

  • Are any of you going to the meeting?
  • I couldn’t answer any of these questions.
  • I listen to Abba but I’ve never bought any of their music.

We use any with of before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, these), pronouns (you, us) or possessives (his, their). Any is very often used with uncountable and plural nouns. It can have the same kind of meaning as the indefinite article a/an has with singular countable nouns. Source


"When used as a pronoun, any can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on how it is construed: Any of these books is suitable (that is, any one). But are any (that is, some) of them available?

  • Have any of my suggestions helped you? - Not just one, maybe two or three suggestions have helped you.
  • Has any of my suggestions helped you? - Only one out of many.

Conjugating “to do” demonstrates that “does” is used with a (third person) singular object. Now, since “Do any here object?” sounds right, but “Does any here object?” doesn’t suggests that “any” regards a plurality. Also, the fact that the word “anyONE” exists at all suggests that “any” normally refers to a plurality. Source

Concerning Prepositions at the end of a sentence

BBC states: In written English, we try to avoid putting the preposition at the end of the sentence. We can say “That’s the film I’m interested in.” “That’s the university which I studied at.” “That’s a song I’ve heard of.” But when were writing formal English, we try to take that preposition and put it into the middle of the sentence. This is where we need to use the relative pronoun which – “That’s the university I studied at.” “That’s the university at which I studied.” “That’s the film I’m interested in.” “That’s the film in which I’m interested.”

But there are cases when if you place the preposition in the middle of the sentence it will either be awkward of too formal to use (unless that is the result you wish to get).

  • Who did you give your number to? - Okay
  • To whom did you give your number? - Very formal


  • What does she look like? - Okay

  • Like what does she look? - Awkward


  • Can you tell me what you are looking for? - Okay

  • Can you tell me for what you are looking? Awkward

More examples can be found here.

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