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As of this morning, none of my friends have been able to [#permalink]
18 Apr 2006, 22:18
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As of this morning, none of my friends have been able to solve the puzzle contained in last week's newspaper.
(A) none of my friends have been able to solve
(B) none of my friends was able to solve
(C) not one of my friends has yet been able to solve
(D) none of my friends has been able to solve
(E) nobody among my friends have solved
Just to add, there are some cases where "of" construction could be missing. We shouldn't
None but his most loyal supporters believe (not believes) his story.
So another way of deciding if it is a singular or plural construction is:
1. If NONE is used in the sense "NOT ONE PERSON/THING" --> Use Singular
2. If NONE is used in thse sense of a group of individuals/things --> Use Plural
"To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."
1) none of my friends have been able to solve the puzzle.
2) none of my friends has been able to solve the puzzle.
The sentence is trying to say that NOBODY has solved the puzzle. In other words, "not a single person in this group" is able to solve it. Hence, "none of my friends" in the sentence is emphasizing on singular verb.
None of my friends are going ---> Emphasis is on more than one friend in a group. None of my friends is going ---> Emphasis is on a single friend in a group.
Although this may be correct, the GMAT will not leave you with such an ambiguous choice, rest assured. Normally, when "none of X" is involved, you should definitely use a singular verb following as demonstrated by the OA of the above question.
There are a few exceptions where you really conjugate the verb depending on the nature of the prepositional phrase following.
eg. Most of X, ten percent of X, all of X, any of X, some of X.