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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > is there any/are there any    

is there any/are there any


is there any/are there any
In case of uncountable nouns we know the deal. But when we use count noun which of the following is correct? Is there any problem? Is there any way? Is there any student in the class?

18 Feb 2014      

Peter Hardy

Hi Whomi. You do know the use of any with uncountables, but for countables it can be confusing, indeed. When any of is followed by a plural subject, the verb can be singular or plural. �If any of your friends is interested, let us know. (formal) �If any of your friends are interested, let us know. (informal) Any is the plural equivalent of a/an, and it is as such used before plural and uncountable nouns. �They recently bought a new car. �Have they got any cars? But it can be used with singular countable nouns with the meaning of �it doesn �t matter who/which/what �. �Can you recite any poem by heart? �Do you know any teacher here? With this meaning any is common in affirmative clauses as well. �Come any day you like. �There is some risk in any project. Having said this, it �s a bit uncommon and it does sound awkward to many people. Hope this helps (and thus you can delete your double entry?) Cheers, Peter.

18 Feb 2014     

United States

I don �t know if this is a BrE/AmE thing, but in the US, we wouldn �t say "Is there any problem?" or "Is there any student in the class?". We would use "a" instead of "any". We use "any" with plural or uncountable nouns, generally. We might use "any" with a singular noun in a negative statement, although "There isn �t any problem" doesn �t sound as natural to me as "There isn �t a problem".

18 Feb 2014