11

Are they both correct? Should there be singular or plural that right after "any"? If they are both correct, what's the difference?

Here, I quote some sentences from the Internet and I wonder if the word "problem" can be changed into "problems" or vise versa.

  • I don't think there was any question she wore the pants.
  • I can ask you any question, and you will answer?
  • We were never asked any questions.
  • Any questions about what is happening in mine are put aside until dessert is served.
5
  • 1
    possible duplicate of Is "any" also used with plurals?
    – avpaderno
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 12:51
  • Another related question is "Is there any proof" versus "are there any proofs".
    – avpaderno
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 12:55
  • 1
    They are related, but, in my opinion, not duplicates.
    – Alenanno
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 12:58
  • 2
    @Alenanno The question reported in the first comment already covers what asked in this question. If there isn't a set phrase, asking about "any cakes," "any questions," "any surprises" would get the same answer.
    – avpaderno
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 13:18
  • A question posted in 2011 and the last answer before today's was posted in Dec 2013, seven years of dormancy yet the post notice says this question is highly active??
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 16:27

7 Answers 7

13

"Any question" places a strict limit on the number of questions allowable to exactly one. For example, there was exactly one question as to who wore the pants. However, where the number of questions has not been determined, or is unrestricted, then the plural should be used.

Is there any question that I am correct? I don' think so. (The only question might be "are you correct".) However, any questions you have should be added to the comments below. (Questions might be "are you serious?", "what authority do you cite?", "why is your speellling so bad?" and so forth.)

2
  • 1
    I think your first assertion is nonsense. It's not idiomatically natural to ask "Any question?" as a way of inviting your (single or multi-person) audience if they want to ask anything. And it would be ridiculous to suppose the speaker would use that format specifically to limit the number of questions (from any single respondent, or the entire audience?). Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 12:05
  • ...there are dozens if not hundreds of written instances of ["Do] you have any questions?" said [the judge, whoever]. Compared to just one single instance of Do you have any question? And looking at surrounding text for that single instance, I'd be prepared to bet the writer isn't a native Anglophone (either that, or the characters whose speech is being reported aren't supposed to be very fluent! :) Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 12:17
4

Using "any question" sounds so strange.

"Call me with any questions you may have".

Yeah, it still sounds better in plural. Though thinking about it, even though it is not a question, it works in the ambiguous or uncertain tense that "any" works with... which is generally plural.

"Do you have any cats, hats, tires, fires, mice, etc"

They all run in plural.

However at the beginning of a sentence, in a more certain, assertive, authoritative tense, singularity is fine.

"Any question can be answered..."

"Any child can learn to swim"

"Any wall can be torn down" etc

2

If you explain something at a conference (for example), in the end you would say "Any questions?".

I think the reason is that there isn't a definite number of question you expect to be asked, so you use the plural.

Honestly, I can't recall hearing/reading "Any question?" used in this way, plus there even is a Radio Programme called "Any questions?".

0

Honestly, I think I might need more context to give a thorough answer, But I'll take a stab at it anyway.

If you are referring to a test, and saying:

"I didn't miss any question(s) on that test"

Then both are correct, because both are true. You didn't miss a single question, nor did you miss any 2 (or more) questions.

-EDIT- In general, I think it's safe to say that both are grammatically correct. But depending on whether you are referring to one, or more than one question, would determine which to use.

0
0

The examples are doing different things. In some cases, highlighting the lack of question. The first example: I don't think there was any question she wore the pants." can be glossed as "There was no doubt that ..."

The second example is highlighting the range of possible questions. "I know everything about X, and have no secrets either. You may ask me any question, I can answer it"

1
  • Yes, the question is really too broadly scoped, with individual answers probably better on ELL. But it's too late to migrate it now. Commented May 17 at 20:01
-1

"I can ask you any question, and you will answer?" This sentence sound unnatural to me. I think a better choice would be: Will you answer any questions I may have?

1
  • Sounds fine to me., the emphasis is on the lack of limits on "any". Talking to a totally candid, uninhibited person: "Really, I can ask you any question about your love life, and you'll answer?"
    – Jim Davis
    Commented May 17 at 19:10
-5

as far as I know, "Any" is singular! :)

therefore it should be Any question?

"any question?" is just the shortcut of "is there any question?" if you would like to make it plural then just omit the "any" like

are there questions?

1
  • 1
    First, any dictionary will tell you that any can be singular or plural as a pronoun. Second, Is there any question? means something different from Are there any questions?
    – choster
    Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 19:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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