No one, Noone, No-one

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No one, Noone, No-one

Should you write "no one," "noone," or "no-one"?
  • No one. "No one" is the correct spelling. Even though "no body," "some body," and "some one" have become "nobody," "somebody," and "someone," "no one" has not followed this trend, most probably because "noone" looks unwieldy and would cause pronunciation errors.
  • No-one. Outside North America, the hyphenated version "no-one" is occasionally used as an alternative spelling to "no one," but "no-one" remains about 20 times less common than "no one." In North America, most readers would consider the hyphenated version to be a spelling mistake.
  • Noone "Noone" is never right. It's a spelling mistake.
no one, noone, or no-one?
The "no one" version is about 20 times more popular than the "no-one" version.
See for yourself

"No-one" Is Becoming More Common

Since the mid 1940s, the hyphenated version "no-one" has been growing more popular (particularly outside North America). Of note, some grammarians condone the hyphenated version, claiming it eliminates ambiguity in sentences like the following:
  • No one person can overcome her power.
  • (This sentence causes a reading stutter. When readers reach "person," most readers would backtrack to read "no one" as "no single."
  • No one can will work.
  • (Although contrived, this sentence is ambiguous. Is the subject "No one can" or "No one"?)

"No One" Is Always Right

There is some leniency on how to write "no one." Outside North America, using a hyphen is acceptable...just. If you've come to this page looking for justification for the hyphenated version, then I'm afraid you've failed. Here's the bottom line: Use "no one."

"Noone" Is Never Right

"Nobody," "somebody," "someone," and "nowhere" have become single words. "No one" has not. "Noone" is wrong.
no one no-one
This sign has the correct spelling of "no one."

More about "No One"

"No one" Is a Pronoun

The word "no one" is classified as an indefinite pronoun. An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun that refers to a person or a thing without being specific. Common ones are "anyone," "anything," "everything," and "nobody."
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Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? Common errors and FAQs Easily confused words List of easily confused words