1.Does any group want to give their presentation?

The above sentence looks grammatically correct to me. However, I am confused between the use of do and does here. (The presence of "their" and "any group" which is singular). Could anyone suggest me?


At least in BrE, it really depends on whether you view a "group" as a single unit or you focus on the individual parts of the "group".

"Does any group ... ?" implies that each group gives their pre as a single unit, while "Do any group ... ?" is equal to "Do the people of any group ...?"

However, American English takes a slightly different approach to the agreement of verbs with collective nouns, where there is a very strong preference for the use of singular verbs with such nouns.

See here and here for more information.


There are at least two ways to better handle this in American English, Vinnie:

  1. Treat everything as singular - Does any group want to give a presentation?
  2. Be more polite by avoiding "want" - Would any group like to give their presentation?

I realize that the second construction could also replace "their" with "a", but the fact that "would" is not conjugated serves to gloss over any disagreement in number.


Based on what’s written in the Oxford Dictionary, it’s context-dependent: ‘any’ refers to either a single or some amount of whatever is referred to; in other words I would argue one could benefit by treating ‘any’ as an adjective (even though it is a pronoun, determiner or adverb). I’ll allow myself to use the examples given by OD (punctuation added):

  • We needed more sugar but there wasn’t any left. (singular verb)
  • Are any of the new videos available? (plural verb)

In the first case, ‘any’ refers to ‘sugar’, which is singular; hence a singular verb is required. Note that ‘sugar’ is singular, despite the phrasing being ‘more sugar’; this can be read as ‘more of sugar’, which reveals that we are dealing with a partitive genitive; with partitive genitives, that which is being referred to is usually singular. In the second case, ‘any’ refers to ‘the new videos’; it is clear then that the verb needs to be in plural.

Referring back to your example sentences—‘Does any group want to give their presentation?’—one could analyse it the same way: From context, it is clear that any is referring to a singular; we could have written it as ‘Does any one group want to …’, making it clear that group should be treated as singular. Were the question phrased differently, e.g. ‘… any [of the] groups …’, then ‘any’ would (again, like an adjective) be pointing to the plural ‘groups’, requiring the plural verb: ‘Do any [of the] groups …’.

All the above disregards that one could consider ‘group’ a mass noun, thereby—as has been pointed out by the others—allowing it to take a plural verb. The method for analysing and understanding the syntax still applies, though.

Source for grammar: Eitrem, Latinsk grammatikk, 3rd edition (Tosterud & Kraggerud), Aschehoug 2006: §§ 81 and 82.

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