I think it's "any of them + ... not" to say what everyone did, which happened to be not doing something:

I wonder why any of them have not addressed the issue.

And the nuance differs if it's

I wonder why none of them have not addressed the issue.

Is there any tendency or something that the latter is prefered?

  • none of them has. But they mean the same thing. I wonder why he ate none of the pie. I wonder why he didn't eat any of the pie.
    – Lambie
    Jan 22, 2018 at 23:43
  • 1
    @Lambie OP is asking about "any" and "none" in subject, not object position. In my experience, I've seen "any" in the subject with a verb in the negative only in legal English. OP should be aware that the first sentence is incorrect because the verb should be in the singular, while the second one is wrong for the same reason and because it contains a double negative.
    – Gustavson
    Jan 23, 2018 at 0:01
  • Right, the 'not' in the second sentence is a typo, but 'have' was not corrected by a native speaker. She used 'have' with 'none'... and I thought 'any' can be plural...
    – karlalou
    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:38
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    @Gustavson 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) Plagiarized from this blog post.
    – BobRodes
    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:47
  • @karlalou You are right; "any" and "none" can be either singular or plural.
    – BobRodes
    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


You wouldn't say none of them have not addressed the issue, because it means the same thing as all of them have addressed the issue.

You are probably trying to say this:

I wonder why none of them have addressed the issue.
I wonder why not any of them have addressed the issue.

These both have the same meaning, but none, here, works better than not any, for no better reason than it's simpler and therefore more common. But if you put the any next to addressed as you have it in your sentence, it changes the meaning a bit. Your sentence has the meaning I wonder why any of them have failed to address the issue.

p.s. Either singular or plural (none has or none have) are perfectly acceptable with none, despite its derivation from no one. You had no need to "correct" it to the singular. Ditto for any.


I believe the difference between these two sentences is of "Where to put the emphasis?"

I wonder why any of them has not addressed the issue.

In this sentence, you are focused more on the Persons, who didn't address the issue.

I wonder why none of them has addressed the issue.

Would imply that you are wondering why the Issue has not been addressed.

The difference is similar to that of saying:

The task is difficult.

Wherein you are focusing more on the "Task" and describing it by the adjective 'difficult'.

Else, you can also say

The task in not simple.

Wherein you imply that focus is more on the 'difficulty' of the task, as in it is not that simple to be completed.

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