2

In a comparative sentence, like the one below, we use the singular form in the second clause:

Rebecca is the most beautiful girl in the school. She is more beautiful than any other girl

and not:

*[...] She is more beautiful than any other girls.

Why do we use the singular and not the plural? Why is the second example not acceptable?

4

The "any other" construction takes the singular because the comparison is one-to-one.

She is more beautiful than any other girl.

is equivalent to:

She is more beautiful than any other individual girl.

You could express a similar sentiment with a construction that takes the plural "girls" like so:

She is more beautiful than other girls.

But this works because, in this case, the comparison is one-to-many.

In short: as an adjective in this case, 'any' can take the singular

  • You could also drop all in the plural example. "...than other girls." – Gob Ties Nov 13 '14 at 2:06
  • True. I suppose I was just trying to follow suit with adding 'individual' to the 'any' example, so to be explicit about things. I'll update to make more clear. – jymt Nov 13 '14 at 2:09
-1

Rebecca is singular, therefore girl is singular.

The following is grammatical:

Rebecca is more beautiful than any other girls I know.*

For instance:

My friend shreds harder than any other girls I know.

And, If you change the wording, then the following is acceptable:

Rebecca is more beautiful than any of the other girls.

Thus, I am not convinced that the following is ungrammatical:

Rebecca is more beautiful than any other girls.


In addition, you can use plurals in comparatives:

Jersey girls have this inner glow that makes them more beautiful than any other girls.

Jersey girls is a plural subject; therefore the plural girls is compared to the plural (any) other girls.

You probably will not run into Girls (plural) are more beautiful than any other girl (singular).

  • 1
    You can say "Rebecca is more beautiful than other girls"! Read the other answer: it doesn't have anything to do with Rebecca/she but how the comparison is formed. – curiousdannii Nov 13 '14 at 2:54

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