There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple.

Is this a proper sentence?

The use of any here seems to be an issue. For example it seems fine in sentences like:

  • I couldn't find any problems.

.. and perhaps also in the following sentences too:

  • If Adam had any problems, let me know.
  • Were there any problems?
  • I sorted out any problems with the customers.

closed as off-topic by herisson, Dan Bron, Rory Alsop, Edwin Ashworth, CDM Mar 14 '16 at 0:22

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Proofreading questions are off-topic unless a specific source of concern in the text is clearly identified." – herisson, Dan Bron, Rory Alsop, CDM
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


No, it's not a proper sentence.

Any in this sense is a negative polarity item, and therefore can't appear outside a negative context.

Thus, while

  • There shouldn't be any problem for Adam to eat that apple

is OK, because shouldn't is negative,

  • *There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple

is ungrammatical because should isn't negative.

  • 1
    +1 Just to be mischevious, Should there be any problem, please ... is fine though. – Araucaria Mar 14 '16 at 14:07
  • @sumelic If you're able to read the reopen information you'll see that I haven't cast any reopen votes on this question. I just made it easier on the eye and related it to JL's answer, so that it would make sense for any readers. I don't know where you got your reopen guff from. If you want to go round leaving advisories for people, why not read the info first. Incidentally your comment is doubly weird because this question does not link to any other questions on polarity items or any others of any description at all and so is a waste of time and a dead end for readers-apart from JL's answer. – Araucaria Mar 14 '16 at 21:28

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