Are “none of them” and “not any of them” equivalent?

Yes, “none of them” and “not any of them” are equivalent in terms of meaning. GETAG, however, suggests using the phrase “none of them” in your writing. “None of them” is more concise and improves clarity. In today’s busy world, there is an advantage to being able to express yourself using as few words as possible.

Examples in published writing

Here are two examples of modern usage of “none of them” in writing:

Obama Faces Barrier in His Own Party on Syria

by Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times
September 4, 2013

“When he visited a grocery store on Wednesday, he said, almost a dozen people told him they thought intervening in Syria was a bad idea. None of them expressed support.”

The CIA just won’t hold itself accountable

by James Downie, Washington Post
January 15, 2015

“But now we learn that the agency’s internal panel has decided none of them should face discipline.”

Replacing the phrase “none of them” with the equivalent phrase “not any of them” would only make these sentences awkward. Therefore, avoid “not any of them” and use “none of them” whenever possible.

Whether or not any of them

The phrase “whether or not any of them” is commonly used in English. The expression is the combination of the two phrases, “whether or not” and “any of them“. The following example is from the New York Times.

A Saint, and an Inquiry Into the Sins of His Brothers

by Ian Austen, NY Times
October 29, 2010

By some accounts, 125,000 medical miracles have been attributed to Brother André. But Donald L. Boisvert, a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, said that whether or not any of them actually occurred was almost beside the point.

Word Count: 285

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