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When ANY is modified by a prepositional phrase that is plural, is the verb singular or plural?

For example:

  1. Whether any of the doors along the hallway is open or not

  2. Whether any of the doors along the hallway are open or not

This is not a duplicate of the linked question, which asks about the difference in usage between things like "any book" (with a singular noun) and "any books" (with a plural noun).

marked as duplicate by mahmud koya, Davo, David, Skooba, RaceYouAnytime Sep 19 '17 at 20:01

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You're talking about doors -- plural. So you want to say "If any of the doors ARE open." However, if you want to say "If any DOOR is open", then you would use the singular. But you're talking about doors, plural.


A prepositional phrase has almost no effect on the grammar of the rest of the sentence.

I don't care if any of the doors is open.

Only one person in a billion is ever truly happy.

  • I would never treat "any" used as a pronoun as singular, but that might just be my dialect (midwest US). – aschepler Sep 19 '17 at 0:15
  • 1
    @aschepler: To my (New England) ear, “any” with a singular verb seems to mean “any individual”, whereas a plural verb means “any subset”. Consider “Take any of these courses that seem(s) interesting” and how many you’d expect to be allowed to take. – Jon Purdy Sep 19 '17 at 0:38

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