Some Pronouns Are Both Singular and Plural

There is a group of indefinite pronouns that can go either way when it comes to taking a singular or plural verb. Generally, if the pronoun refers to a group of countable items, use the plural form of the verb; otherwise, use the singular form.


all – All is calm. All are invited.

any – Help! Any (help) is appreciated. Any (helpers) are welcome.

more – More is better. More are needed.

most – Most of the cement has been used. Most of the wells have been cemented.

neither – Neither is wrong. Neither of those methods are recommended.

none – None of those pumps is an ESP. None of those pumps are working properly.

some – Some of the ice cream has disappeared. Some of the cookies have been eaten, too.

such – Such is life. Such are the trials and tribulations of working full-time.

Here’s the rule: A pronoun usually refers to something earlier in the text (its antecedent) and must agree in number (singular or plural) with the thing to which it refers. In other words, if it looks like a plural, walks like a plural, and quacks like a plural, use the plural verb. And if it quacks like a singular item or a quantity of mass, use the singular verb.


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