I'd like to form this question:

Is she beautiful or smart or {neither one/ neither one of them/none of them}?

So do I need 'of them' for sure or can I omit 'of them' and say 'neither one' or only 'neither'? I'd like to keep it simplest possible.

Which one is correct?

  1. Is she beautiful or smart or neither one?

  2. Is she beautiful or smart or neither one of them?

  3. Is she beautiful or smart or none of them?

  4. Is she beautiful or smart or neither?

  5. Is she beautiful or smart or none?

The duplicate question does not answer my question. My question is not about single plural verb harmony. It is about whether I can omit and if so to what extent I can omit to give the same meaning in simplest way and that according to what one prefers neither over none or vice versa.

  • Please, give a sentence or a situation to make it clear. How are you going to use them?
    – V.V.
    Jun 13, 2016 at 15:36
  • is she beautiful or smart or neither one/ neither one of them/none of them? so do I need "of them" for sure? Jun 13, 2016 at 15:49
  • Pls edit you question with additional information. Comments are temporary...
    – user3169
    Jun 13, 2016 at 15:58
  • Is it this or that or neither? Jun 13, 2016 at 16:06
  • @StoneyB so that s exactly my question. can I leave out "one of them" and only say neither or none? secondly if I decide to append "one of them" none of them or neither of them should be preferred? why? Jun 13, 2016 at 19:22

3 Answers 3


It seems like you are trying trying to convey the message in the simplest way possible, regardless of grammaticality. So, my response relies on what I think sounds natural. Also, I assume that you want to keep this specific

Is she beautiful or smart or X?


I assume that there is a woman and you are interested in two particular traits, being beautiful and being smart. There three options and only one can be chosen:

  • beautiful
  • smart
  • not beautiful and not smart

Your 1. expresses the scenario, but neither one seems redundant since the question is brief. In my opinion, you don't need the word one.

If your 1. is redundant, then your 2. is definitely redundant. It still expresses the scenario, but "one of them" is excessive. Again, I am assuming that you want the simplest answer. In this instance, I am taking simple to mean terse.

Your 3. doesn't sound right. To me, of them suggests that there are more than two traits up for consideration. None also suggest to me that there are more than two traits up for consideration. So none of them strongly suggests that to me.

As you can imagine, I like 4. best. Regardless of whether we use the word neither correctly or not, we understand that it is to be used with two things. Because of this strong association with two things, I think it is natural to use neither here. In this instance, neither implies exactly "not trait one nor trait two".

I don't like none in 5. Again, none suggests use with more than two things to me, which is not the case here.


To me: 1. and 2. have the same meaning and are used when talking about two persons.

Where are your parents?
I don't know, neither one is home right now.

Neither one of my parents is home right now.

  1. Has the same meaning but can also be used to talk about more than two persons.

None of my parents are home right now.
None of my 10 friends showed up for my birthday.

Even though the first one (none of my parents) sounds weird and I would prefer not using it.

  • I edited my question for more clarity, I think your answer is little off to what I ask and I tried to fix the ambiguity in my question maybe you can also edit your answer. Jun 13, 2016 at 15:04
  • @CeyhunÖzsoylu: Applying what I said: you have two options (this or that), so you can use 2. and 3. You can't use 1. because you need to keep of them to remind the reader of the two choices.
    – Azami
    Jun 13, 2016 at 15:16
  • is she beautiful or smart or neither one/ neither one of them/none of them? so do I need "of them" for sure? if yes neither one of them or none of them, which one sounds better and why? Jun 13, 2016 at 15:50

All of your doubts will be cleared by going here.

To me, only 1, 2 and 4 make sense.

Actually, you can consider 1 = 2 = 4.

Neither is used when we're given two things and none, when multiple of them are given.

We can never use statements 3 and 4. They are incorrect. We are considering a girl's beauty and smartness (TWO things), use of "none" is inappropriate here.

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