0

I am a non native speaker of english. I doubt If my following sentences are correct. I actually don't know if I should use any with singular or plural nouns in if clauses. I run a business and I want to say these to my customers. Can any english teacher or anyone who has good grasp on the language please answer this. And tell me in the given context which ones sound more natural.

  1. If any customers are dissatisfied with the product, they are requested to return it to the store for a full refund.
  2. If any customer is dissatisfied with the product, he/she is requested to return it to the store for a full refund.
  3. We are sorry if any customer is unhappy.
  4. We are sorry if any customers are unhappy.
  • Why not just say "if you are dissatisfied with the product..."? – snoram Jan 9 '18 at 13:21
1

All four of those sentences are grammatically correct. Sentence 2 (singular) probably reads and sounds smoother than sentence 1 (plural), although I personally disdain the "he/she" construction. (It is grammatically correct to say "he is requested," it's just not politically correct.) But I agree with Snoram above; direct address is probably better, both grammatically and in terms of personal sales. Just say "if you are dissatisfied..." or even "if dissatisfied...".

  • My question is, should nouns followed by "any" be singular or plural? – user266865 Jan 9 '18 at 13:48
  • I have asked this because I have seen both forms are used but don't know what the difference between singular and plural nouns after "any" is. – user266865 Jan 9 '18 at 13:50
  • There is no firm and fast rule on this. It is determined by the subject: "If there are any reasons" (plural), "if there is anyone present" (singular). In your examples, however, singular might work more effectively simply because each of your customers is an individual; you presumably are not selling to large groups of people in a single transaction. – Gregory Benoit Jan 9 '18 at 14:03
  • Thank you. I got it. So I think a plural might be more natural in this case "We will organise a programme on 10th of januray for first anniversary of our bussiness. If any customers are Willing to join the programme,, they are welcome." – user266865 Jan 9 '18 at 14:14
  • Customers are welcome to join the program. Forget ANY. Have faith in me. :) Also, organise a programme, should be: we will hold an event on 10 January for our first anniversary. – Lambie Jan 9 '18 at 15:25
0

Use of ANY in a marketing context, grammar is only partly relevant here. Usage is more important in marketing. Therefore, I propose these ideas to you:

1) If any customers are dissatisfied with the product, they are requested to return it to the store for a full refund.

[it is a marketing error, to address customers in the plural like this]

2) If any customer is dissatisfied with the product, he/she is requested to return it to the store for a full refund. [any is used incorrectly here]

3) We are sorry if any customer is unhappy. [who would say that??]

4) We are sorry if any customers are unhappy. [or this?? See my last sentence below]

  • The word any should be used like this: any bread, any milk.

Here the proper usage grammar-wise and stylistically is:

*If you are dissatisfied with the product, please return it to the store for a full-refund.

  • Are any of our customers dissatisfied? [a manager addressing sales' people out of sight of customers, but not: any customers]

Customers should be addressed individually, not as a group when a message is targeted to them.

  • Please let us know why our product did not meet your expectations.

Reference: I can only share my marketing writing experience with you.

  • Thank you Lambie. You've helped me a lot. But I also want to know the rule. Should any be singular or plural in If clauses. Consider this example "If any students are unable to come to the workshops and cannot reach a counselor, the UCC would still be able to help with any anxiety and stress issues that they might have as it gets closer to finals week." I think the plural is appropriate here. – user266865 Jan 9 '18 at 15:09
  • I repeat: any students is wrong. Some students are coming [declarative]; no students are coming [negative]; Are any students coming? [interrogative]. "Any" should not be used in the declarative as you have used it. – Lambie Jan 9 '18 at 15:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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