None

“None” (ninguno) is often used incorrectly. The issue is whether or not (si o no) “none” needs a plural verb or a single verb. Confused? You should be, because the wrong verb is often used with “none”.

Let´s get to the nub (lo esencial) of the issue. Consider this sentence:

  • None of the bananas grown in Tenerife are organic (de cultivo biológico).

Is the above sentence correct? The subject is bananas (plural), and therefore “are” is correct.  Easy? It is obvious (obvio), no? It is not obvious. The sentence is incorrect. “None” is the subject and it is singular.

“None” means “not one”. “One” is singular, period (y punto). Therefore the negative of “one” is also singular. Consider this correct example using “one”:

  • One of Mr. Morales´s proposals is the nationalization (nacionalización) of the breweries in Tenerife.

Now consider:

  • Not one of Mr. Morales´s proposals includes the nationalization of the breweries in Tenerife.

This sentence is correct with the singular (third person) verb “includes”. So therefore, as “none” means “not one” these are also correct:

  • None of Mr. Morales´s proposals includes the nationalization of the breweries in Tenerife.
  • None of the bananas on the table is from Ecuador = Not one of the bananas on the table is from Ecuador.

You will often see this mistake – a result of unthinking minds (las mentes irreflexivas). If you are contemplating Advanced English or Proficiency in English (the Cambridge exams) you will need to know how to use “none” correctly.