I have the above question in one of my classes but can't find a reason as to why the answer can't be 'There aren't any young people.... '

The only thing I can think of is if it something like you can't assume that there are no young people in a building - statistically unlikely - or something like that.

Is there a rule that I don't know?


  • I know of nothing wrong with there aren't any, at least colloquially. In more formal language there are no would be better. Jun 1, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    What makes you think that 'any' is incorrect here? It's not. Jun 1, 2020 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


Aren't many implies that the number of young people are few but not zero. Aren't any implies that the number of young people are zero. As Kate points out, Aren't no would need to be replaced by Are no to avoid the double negative.

  • Both any and many say what you said, but they don't just imply. And Kate removed the contraction without addressing the unjustified double negative. Jun 1, 2020 at 14:05

It's a trick question:

YOU (Judas) can't say "There aren't ANY young people in OUR apartment block," because YOU are (presumably) a young person in your apartment block -- so, there's at least one. ;)

  • How do you know Judas lives in an apartment block? And if he doesn't, 'There aren't many young people in our apartment block' is equally 'infelicitous as a statement by Judas'. No, the only considerations here have to be grammatical. Jun 1, 2020 at 15:16
  • @EdwinAshworth Good gravy... I don't claim to know where Judas lives - just trying to reason out a justification for the grammatically correct answer to be technically 'wrong'. Maybe the teacher was trying to be cute... A young person could not accurately make the statement: "There aren't ANY young people in OUR apartment block".
    – Oldbag
    Jun 1, 2020 at 18:48
  • Not my downvote, but I'd agree with the DV-er that this sort of reasoning shouldn't be given more than 'comment' status. Possible, but hardly general English usage: more logic-R-us. Jun 1, 2020 at 18:54

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