I know that some/any are used with plural (with some exceptions), but what about this?

I can give you a book...if there is any

Is that correct? I want to say that if there is any book, I will give it to him.

And what about plural?

I can give you the books...if there are some

Or should it be "any?

  • I would say "I can give you a book if there is one" and "I can give you books if there are any". – user16269 Jun 1 '12 at 8:56

Your sentences will be more natural if they read:

I can give you a book... if there is one.

One here functions as a pronoun in order to avoid repeating a book. Any book means it doesn't matter which one, as in the sentence "Take any book you want".

I can give you the books... if there are any.

Since the if clause expresses uncertainty, the use of any sounds better to my ears.

  • Thanks, regarding the first sentence, yes I would like to express "if there is any", meaning whatever book..Not sure from your comment whether it is not correct? – Pietro Jun 1 '12 at 9:00
  • 2
    @Pietro: In that case you should say: "I can give you any book that's left" or "I can give you any book I'll find." The way you suggest doesn't express the meaning you want. – Irene Jun 1 '12 at 9:05

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