Any + plural or singular

raisingfink   Tuesday, January 27, 2004, 06:44 GMT
It's me again. Sorry. I've got so many Qs. The last one for today is - when would you use plural or singular with "any". I understand both are fine. However, can you actually say "He didn't receive any replies". Thanks a million.
Elaine   Tuesday, January 27, 2004, 08:14 GMT
Yes, you can say "He didn't receive any replies." You can also say "I didn't receive any response from you." So, whether you use "any" with a plural or a singular noun really depends on what you're trying to convey.


any - one, some, every, or all without specification: Take any book you want. Are there any messages for me? Any child would love that. Give me any food you don't want.

When used as a pronoun, "any" can take either a singular or plural verb, depending on how it is construed: Any of these books is suitable (that is, any one). But are any (that is, some) of them available?

The construction of "any" is often used in informal contexts to mean "of all," as in "He is the best known of any living playwright." In an earlier survey this example was unacceptable in writing to 67 percent of the Usage Panel. "Any" is also used to mean "at all" before a comparative adjective or adverb in questions and negative sentences: "Is she any better?" "Is he doing any better?" "He is not any friendlier than before." This usage is entirely acceptable. The related use of any to modify a verb is considered informal. In writing, one should avoid sentences like "It didn't hurt any" or "If the child cries any, give her the bottle."
raisingfink   Friday, January 30, 2004, 04:54 GMT
Terima kasih. That means thank you in Malay.