In this sentence, should I use "trouble" or "troubles"? I thought that I should use trouble because it is after the word "any", but my tutor changed it to troubles. Which is correct?

If you dare to create any trouble(s) during the trip, ..."

  • 1
    In my opinion, you were right to write "...any trouble..." and your tutor was wrong to change it to "...any troubles...."
    – tautophile
    May 11 '18 at 5:36
  • 1
    Your instructor was wrong. Trouble, here, is a singular, uncountable noun. (It can be used differently, but not in this context.) May 11 '18 at 5:54
  • 'Troubles' is rare. It is sometimes used to describe a period of Irish history - 'the Troubles'.
    – Nigel J
    May 11 '18 at 11:56

I would use "trouble".

To me, though, the following would sound the most organic.

If you dare cause any trouble during the trip, ...

  • Hello, Hal. Answers valued on ELU are accompanied by supporting references and added reasons as to why they should be considered correct. Answers lacking these often come across as (and may be no more than) mere personal opinion. May 11 '18 at 9:08

These Google Ngrams show that, though the plural count noun usage is not unknown (at least for 'cause any troubles'), it is far less idiomatic here than fixed expressions with non-count usage.

As idiomaticity is probably even more important than grammaticality, the more popular usages should be the ones chosen unless there's a compelling argument to do otherwise. But for that reason, I'd avoid 'create any trouble' also.

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