This is really just for fun. Why is this grammatically correct? "There are no books".

"No books" means a zero quantity of books which is singular per definition of plural (2 or more). So isn't it incorrect and we should instead use:

"There is no book."

As per the comment below saying that I invent the definition. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/plural (Of a word or form) denoting more than one, or (in languages with dual number) more than two:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/plural a word or form that expresses more than one

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plural relating to a form of a word that refers to more than one person or thing

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    This is circular reasoning. You apply definitions you invented yourself. Zero is not singular. Zero is zero. Likewise, the definition of plural is not "one or more", either. The definition of plural is "not singular". And only one is singular. – RegDwigнt Jul 2 '14 at 14:10
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    Here is another question with is itself marked as a duplicate, but which I feel offers more substantiation as to why the plural is used than what is linked-to therein as the 'canonical' version of the question. – 568ml Jul 2 '14 at 14:15
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    As an addendum, of course different languages behave completely differently, so whatever justification we provide, it is justification in hindsight. The actual answer is, it is grammatically correct because that's what people use, because that's what "grammatically correct" means. Grammar is not some set of divine rules; instead, it is a description of what people actually do. So if what people actually do is say "There are no books", then that's what's grammatical. If we collectively agreed to say "there would none book" instead, then that would be grammatical. – RegDwigнt Jul 2 '14 at 14:17
  • The answer given in the earlier thread, with 27 votes and a green check, is plainly incorrect. See Peter Shor's answer at the bottom of that page. We use both versions. They mean two different things. – bobro Apr 9 '15 at 7:59

"No" is a neutral word. It can be plural or singular. You yourself have rightly used "is no book" and "are no books." The verbs "are" and "is" decide number agreement.

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