Many, any, none, all, and some are interesting pronouns in that they can be both singular as well plural. Watch the concept explained in this short video.
Many, Any, None, All, Some on GMAT
Subject verb agreement is one of the most basic and important concepts that you must master, to tackle GMAT sentence correction, and in order to do so, you will need to understand the grammatical rules governing the number of certain specific types of pronouns, namely “many, any, none, and all”. These pronouns do not have a set number but can be plural or singular, depending on the context of the sentence. This short article will cover the circumstances that determine whether these pronouns must be considered plural or singular, on the GMAT.
Many, Any, None, All, Some
Many, any, none, all, some, these pronouns can be singular or plural, depending on what noun they refer to. If one of these pronouns refers to a singular noun, then it will be singular as well, and if it refers to a plural noun, then it will be plural. Let us illustrate this concept, through the following examples:
Example 1 – Some chocolates were distributed.
The subject in this sentence is the plural noun “chocolates”; thus, the pronoun that refers to it, “some” is also considered to be plural and the plural verb “were distributed” is used to refer to it.
Example 2 – Some money was distributed.
As the noun “money” is an uncountable noun, such as the noun “wealth”, it is always considered singular. Therefore, when the pronoun “some” is used to refer to the noun “money”, in Example 2, it is considered singular and the plural verb “was distributed” is used to refer to it.
Example 3 – Are any workers coming?
In this sentence, the pronoun “any” is referring to he noun “workers”; as workers are people, they are, of course, countable. Thus, the noun “workers” is plural noun and the pronoun that refers to it, “any” will be plural as well, meaning the plural verb “are” will be used to refer to it.
Example 4 – Is any worker coming?
In contrast to Example 3, this sentence uses the pronoun “any” to refer to the singular noun “worker”; thus, it is singular as well and the singular verb “is” is used to refer to it.
From these examples, you should be able to see how these five pronouns can be either singular or plural, depending on which noun they refer to. This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Sentence Correction videos.