- For Teachers
I am wondering if both of them are acceptable.
Could you confirm it for me?
Thanks a lot!
1. He is taller than any boy in my class.
2. He is taller than any boys in my class.
True, the speaker could be referring to a visitor to the school, not only someone in the class.
It's interesting that "any" used to be a negative indefinite at an earlier point of the negation cycle, when we used to have to include the sentential negative particle "ne." (Chaucer's time and earlier.)
Judging from that, I'd say there's no definite preference for singular or plural uses of "any" in modern English. (This was one of the OP's questions.)
We're not very logical about such things in English anyhow. Which sounds more natural? The one that's ever so slightly less logical, I think:
There are no offers as yet.
There is no offer as yet.
He is taller than any other boys in the class.
Why is this sentence incorrect? With 'any' we use the plural form of the noun.
No, it's "He's taller than any other boy."
Or "He's taller than any of the other boys."
The plural would be in the negative or the question form:
I don't see any mistakes in this paragraph.
Do you have any pets?
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.