I've found an explanation in the Cambridge dictionary: **None means ‘not one’ or ‘not any’. We don’t use none where we mean no one or nobody:

They had a wonderful time and luckily no one was injured.

Not: … and luckily none was injured.** No, none and none of

I can't get the difference. I think I need more examples to understand this explanation.

  • 1
    In current English we don’t use none where we mean no one or nobody. It was acceptable in older usage, for example Dryden's "None but the brave deserve the fair". The operatic aria "Nessun dorma" is traditionally rendered in English as "None shall sleep". Sep 6, 2021 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


"None", although a pronoun, could be considered a substitute for the number zero:

  • Two of my children are boys
  • One of my children is a boy
  • None of my children are boys.

It doesn't just relate to people - it can be used for anything.

"No one" means 'no person', so that can only relate to people. The "one" here acts like the pronoun 'one', and not the number one. The word "no" is the determiner. As such, it is used differently to "none" and is not interchangeable.

  • I invited all my friends, but no one came.
  • I thought I heard a knock at the door, but there was no one there.

There isn't too much difference between "no one" and "nobody", but style guides suggest that 'no one' is the preferred singular pronoun for academic or professional writing, while 'nobody' is considered more informal.

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