I'm writing documentation for a fingerprint matcher and my colleague brought up that instead of "Takes in a collection of fingerprints, identifies whether any match any other fingerprint in the database" it should be "Takes in a collection of fingerprints, identifies whether any matches any other fingerprint in the database".

I cannot explain why I think it is "match" instead of "matches" but I feel like it is correct. If the sentence had been "If any fingerprint matches" then I would agree it's matches but in this case, it feels it should be match.

Can anyone explain who is right and why?

  • 1
    Both will work and both make sense. Try to see why. – Kris Feb 6 at 8:03
  • I already tried to see why, but I'm very bad at linguistic stuff. I'm going off on instinct alone. Could you shed some light? – Cryru Feb 6 at 8:16
  • To start with, any can refer to a singular or a plural as needed. – Kris Feb 6 at 8:19
  • But in this case, it refers to a singular. Are both correct then? – Cryru Feb 6 at 8:21
  • No. More than one from the collection could match a corresponding one from the database. So it can be plural. – Kris Feb 6 at 8:27

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