2

For countable nouns, both "Is there any x?" and "Are there any x?" are grammatical and correct.

But what nuance / connotation differences are there between them?

For example, if we're searching for a Chrome plugin to do something, what's the connotation difference between:

Is there any Chrome plugin to do this?

vs:

Are there any Chrome plugins to do this?

Related threads (which only increases the confusion):

  • Looking at the related threads, it does seem rather complex. Could it be, though, that any just stands, in the singular case, for "a", and for "some" in the plural case? "Is there a Chrome plugin?"; "Are there some Chrome plugins?" – Margana Jun 8 '15 at 20:08
  • If you expect there might only be one, you can use "is there any". If you expect there to be many, you should use "are there any". For instance, you would say "are there any apples in this store?" and "is there any country that claims this island?" – Peter Shor Jun 8 '15 at 20:10
  • 1
    @PeterShor: It does. Unless perhaps you'd spent hours searching for apples and found none in the store, Then you might, in frustration, exclaim "Is there any apple in this store!" Might you? – Margana Jun 8 '15 at 20:14
  • @Margana: you might. – Peter Shor Jun 8 '15 at 20:15
  • @PeterShor: I might exclaim "Is there any meaning in my last comment now you've edited what I was replying to". : ) – Margana Jun 8 '15 at 20:19
4

With "is there any" it implies to me that the speaker is asking for one solution; a "magic bullet" type of Chrome plugin to use your example. They're asking for a particular solution; perhaps the "best" one.

With "are there any" it implies that the speaker is asking a more open-ended question and not looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, but will evaluate the suggestions.

1

is there anyone who cares? if so, are there any people who like them?

  • 4
    It looks like you are giving some examples. Can you explain your reasoning? – Kit Z. Fox Dec 2 '15 at 18:58

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