1. NO and NONE
We use NO + noun.
• She had no shoes on.
• No information was given about how the research was conducted.
• There is no train until tomorrow.
We use NONE without any noun after it.
• Have we got any more sugar? — There’s none in the kitchen.
• How many children have you got? — None.
We use NO or NONE (OF) instead of NOT A or NOT ANY to emphasize the negative idea in a sentence.
Compare these sentences:
• There isn’t a key for this door.
• She didn’t give me any help at all.
• There’s no key for this door.
• She gave no help at all.
We use NO or NONE (OF) but we can’t use NOT ANY in initial position in a clause or sentence.
• No force was needed to make them move. (not: Not any force was needed…)
• None of the children was awake. (not: Not any of children…)
2. NOT A
We use NOT A in a formal or literary style we can use not a in initial position in a clause or sentence.
• Not a word would she say about the robbery.
• Not a sound came from the classroom.
After NO, we use a singular noun in situations where we would expect one of something, and a plural noun where we would expect more than one.
• There were no biscuits left.
• He seems very lonely at school, and has no friends.
NOTE: Sometimes we can use either a singular or plural noun with little difference in meaning.
• No answer (or answers) could be found.
• We want to go to the island but there’s no boat (or no boats) to take us.
4. NONE OF
We can use NONE OF with a plural noun and the verb can be either singular or plural, although the singular form is usually more formal.
• None of the children were awake. (or: None of the children was awake.)
• None of the letters have arrived yet. (or: None of the letters has arrived yet.)
NOTE: However, when we use none with an uncountable noun the verb must be singular.
• None of the water was kept in the jar.
• None of the money has been transferred to his account.