Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I found on a research paper the following statement:

Is any particular images satisfying the requirements ?

I thought any can only be used with singular terms. So I was surprised when I've seen "images" rather than "image".

Am I correct?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would take that to be a typo. The verb should agree with the noun:

  • Is any particular image satisfying the requirements?
  • Are any particular images satisfying the requirements?

Any can be safely used in both cases. Have a look at these example sentences from Wiktionary:

  • Choose any items you want. [items — plural]
  • Any person may apply. [person — singular]
  • I haven't got any money. [money — uncountable]

Merriam-Webster defines any as follows:

  1. one or some indiscriminately of whatever kind [...]
  2. one, some, or all indiscriminately of whatever quantity [...]

Emphasis mine.

Lastly, note psmears' comment that it might be more appropriate to use present simple rather than present continuous in your case (though further context might justify either). I will also add that there should be no space before the question mark.

share|improve this answer
2  
Note that the sentences here, though correct, are unusual: it's far more common to say Does any particular image satisfy the requirements?, which has a slightly different meaning - but without more context it's impossible to know which is appropriate... –  psmears Apr 16 '11 at 10:25
    
+1: Not bad for an NNS. @psmears, I'm sure @RegDwight is confining his answer to the actual question at hand, not giving supererogatory lessons in writing. –  Robusto Apr 16 '11 at 10:43
2  
@Robusto: Yes, I know that RegDwight is well aware of what I'm saying :-p I'm just pointing it out for the benefit of others who might otherwise misinterpret "This is grammatically correct" as "This is what you actually want to say/write" :) –  psmears Apr 16 '11 at 11:13
2  
@Karl and psmears: I've updated the answer accordingly. @Robusto: you misspelled "9.9999% perfect". –  RegDwigнt Apr 16 '11 at 12:43
1  
@RegDwight: Just the sort of misperception I expect from the NNS contingent here. –  Robusto Apr 16 '11 at 12:58

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.