Question: Identify the one bold word or phrase that must be changed in order for the sentence to be correct.

Some religions have none deity but are philosophies that function instead of religions.

A) have none

B) are

C) instead of

D) religions

Its correct answer is (B). "are" must be instead of "no". Why?

  • 1
    One clear mistake is "have none" which should be "have no". "deity" is misspelled. And the combination of "Some religions [...] instead of religions" makes no sense either, but I can't suggest a replacement because I don't understand what it's supposed to mean. Sep 24, 2015 at 16:11
  • 2
    Some religions have no diety, but are philosophies that function instead of religions. It's semantically confusing, because the first use of the word religion is clearly intended to include (potentially "non-theistic") doctrines such as Hinduism, but the second usage effectively denies this by saying such "religions" aren't in fact religions at all - they're just philosophies that function in much the same way as religions. But confusing or not, if none is replaced by no + comma, it's perfectly grammatical (though I'd prefer as rather than instead of). Sep 24, 2015 at 16:22
  • 1
    Are you sure the question is correct? There's more than one problem with it.
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:02
  • You have now posted six questions of this sort, which presented nine problems. In three of these the "correct" answer given was wrong. That's a score of 67%. I suggest you find another source of questions. Oct 10, 2015 at 3:38

3 Answers 3


Some religions have none diety but are philosophies that function instead of religions.

  • have none is clearly wrong and should be have no
  • are is correct because "Some religions are philosophies" is correct.
  • instead of doesn't make much sense here, whereas as makes works since "Some religions are philosophies that function as religions." is a proper sentence.

In addition to those grammar issues, you made two spelling mistakes, "diety" should be "deity" and "grammer" should be "grammar".

So I'd say instead:

Some religions have no deity but are philosophies that function as religions.

  • Actually, one of the choices is to change "religions" to "religion". "Some religions have no deity but are philosophies that function instead of religion" might be what they were after (although I would say "in place of religion". All in all though, it's a terribly written question. It's difficult to see how any one option would be correct.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 24, 2015 at 17:04

Do take note of spelling corrections given by several of the other users.

With that out of the way, the trick here is to consider which noun the linking verb relates to, specifically the plurality of the noun.

In this case, the linking verb relates to religions, and not deity. "Religions" is plural, hence the linking verb must also be in its plural form, "are".

Just a quick alternative phrasing: Some religions have no deity but are philosophies that function in the stead of religions.


Well, first of all, it's spelled grammar, not grammer. ;)

To be honest this question is cryptic at best, especially if they state the correct answer is B, the only word (as far as I can see) that doesn't belong at all in this sentence is "none" which should be "no". "Are" seems to fit right in. Then again, english tests sometimes have these very confusing sentences that you will probably never see again in your life. :P

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