4

I'm filling out a form and one the requests is something to the effect of:

Please provide any tax audit reports and tax credit filings from the past two years.

What I would like to respond is:

We do not have any such.

I could of course write "We do not have any such reports or filings." but for brevity I'd prefer the above.

  • Is the short response valid and meaningful?

  • Does it sound off to a native English speaker? (considering the fact that it's a written response to a form)

6
  • 5
    If you want real brevity, then "None" would do as a form entry. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 10:45
  • And n/a includes 'none available' [Google results] (and 'not applicable') among its expansions. And 'not available', 'not assessed' and 'no answer'. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 10:54
  • 1
    "We do not have any such" certainly isn't colloquial. But on a tax form, that doesn't matter. "We have none" or even "N/A" or a line through the box could be possible, or on the other hand you might provide an explanation of why there are none - it's hard to judge what is acceptable without seeing the whole form.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 11:10
  • 5
    @Lambie: I disagree. OP's exact usage is relatively uncommon, but it's perfectly valid. And there's certainly nothing particularly unusual about using such without following it with an "explicit referent" noun. To bake bread, you need flour, water, yeast, and such. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 12:29
  • 1 - The tax people don't judge your English. Your sentence is okay. 2 - Your answer says you don't have such things, whereas you need to tell them "No, there aren't any tax audit reports and tax credit filings from the past two years." Not that you do not have any. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

2

This ellipted construction appears to me as being, at best, very rare. If the use of "not any such" is investigated generally and also as appearing before a colon or a full stop, Google Books gives not a single result for the latter two cases.

enter image description here

ngram

The graph corresponding to the colon is based on a page of examples yielding only false positives. (not any such;). It is probably safer to avoid this construction if intent on making sure that your wording will raise no doubts, otherwise, if you are not squeamish at the idea of possibly making some innovation, you might try it (it is understandable as an ellipted construction).


In answer to comments

The result is the same for "not have any such".

enter image description here

ngram

have any such;

5
  • 2
    The expression that they were asking about was "not have any such", rather than "not any such", which to my ear seem quite different. And using any such at the end of a sentence might be somewhat antiquated, but is still perfectly good English. See Ngram. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 12:31
  • [We do] not have any such might be fairly uncommon, but it's misleading to compare it with [There is] not any such, which is very uncommon. Or We have no such, which would almost never occur. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 12:35
  • @PeterShor There is no difference as far as the result of the research goes. This case has been added in the answer now.
    – LPH
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 12:48
  • @LPH: the difference being that not any such at the end of a sentence sounds completely wrong to me, but not have any such sounds perfectly fine, if a somewhat antiquated way of putting things. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 12:53
  • @PeterShor I see it as one added ellipsis; ex; / — We don't have any such. — Not even any that would look like them? — Not any such. / Licensing the first ellipsis seems to call for doing the same thing as regards the second.
    – LPH
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 13:24
2

The construct is understandable and is grammatical.

I give two references to support this notion.

1

Cambridge
such, noun:
in the true or exact meaning of the word or phrase:
"There wasn't much vegetarian food as such, although there were several different types of cheese."
"We don't have a secretary as such, but we do have a student who comes in to do some filing."

In this case such is used as a noun to represent a precedingly mentioned type.

2

Cambridge such predeterminer, determiner, pronoun:
of a particular or similar type
"Our lunch was such (= of a type) that we don't really need dinner."

In this case, such is used as a pronoun that represents and determines the preceding "lunch".

Your own case is that
{version 1} you do not have any reports and filings as such
or
{version 2} you do not have any such (used as a pronoun representing and determining the reports and filings previously mentioned)

Although version 1 may often be used, version 2 is valid and may be used without ambiguity or obscurity.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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