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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin123 View Post
    so..

    "Do you have any books ?"
    "Do you have any book ? "

    Are two sentences both correct?
    This is the first choic: Do you have any books.

    Do you have any book? - This is possible if the context calls for it.

    Do you have your French book, French workbook, and French notebook?

    No, I don't.

    Why not?

    I don't know.

    Well do you have any book at all? Any book? Any book at all will do, but, please, come to class with at least one book. - Emphasizing that one should have at least one book

    Context and the speaker's viewpoint would cause "any book at all" and other similar phrases to be the logical choice. Here's another example:

    How to make a literary boob of yourself - Howard Jacobson ...
    Does Clarkson have any book at all in mind? Almost certainly not. All that's really up his nose is the activity of discrimination itself. ...

    (any one book at al in mind)

    "have any book at all" - Google Search=

  2. #12
    kelvin123 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    "Do you have any books ?"
    "Do you have any book ? "

    Do you mean that the two sentences have different meanings?
    I am not clear about it. May you say more?
    Also, I would like to confirm whether they are both correct grammatically.

  3. #13
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    Smile Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin123 View Post
    "Do you have any books ?"
    "Do you have any book ? "

    Do you mean that the two sentences have different meanings?
    I am not clear about it. May you say more?
    Also, I would like to confirm whether they are both correct grammatically.
    If you mean to ask about just one book, then the phrase "any book at all" becomes more possible, but if you just mean any number of books at all, then "any books at all" is a likely phrase.

    Don't you have at least one book? No? You mean of the three books you're supposed to have, you don't have any one of them at all? (you have none of them at all)

    With this in mind, I would take a look at the example dialog that I wrote again, and then see what you think.


  4. #14
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    If you mean to ask about just one book, then the phrase "any book at all" becomes more possible, but if you just mean any number of books at all, then "any books at all" is a likely phrase.

    Don't you have at least one book? No? You mean of the three books you're supposed to have, you don't have any one of them at all? (you have none of them at all)

    With this in mind, I would take a look at the example dialog that I wrote again, and then see what you think.

    To me, in English, "Do you have any...." always takes a plural noun. "Do you have any book" sounds like an ESL student error. Any can refer to either singular or plural nouns. "Any native speaker can attest to that." "Any of us can confirm this."

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    To me, in English, "Do you have any...." always takes a plural noun. "Do you have any book" sounds like an ESL student error. Any can refer to either singular or plural nouns. "Any native speaker can attest to that." "Any of us can confirm this."
    It may sound that way because it's used that way infrequently. However, it is possible given the right context, situation, or speaker viewpoint. In such a case, a native speaker would use it.

  6. #16
    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    It may sound that way because it's used that way infrequently. However, it is possible given the right context, situation, or speaker viewpoint. In such a case, a native speaker would use it.
    I agree with Pro. Perhaps it's a bit easier to see with a negative.

    Don't you have any book?!

    Do you have any book?!

    Don't you have any cotton-pickin' idea where my pen is?!

    Do you have any cotton-pickin' idea where my pen is?!

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    I should mention that "any book is" is given as an example in the usage notes of at least one dictionary.

    Any of these books is suitable (that is, any one).

    any: Definition from Answers.com

    And this is possible too, and to me it is preferable: Any of these books are suitable.

  8. #18
    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    I should mention that "any book is" is given as an example in the usage notes of at least one dictionary.

    Any of these books is suitable (that is, any one).

    any: Definition from Answers.com

    And this is possible too, and to me it is preferable: Any of these books are suitable.
    Personally, I don't think that it's a matter of "preferable". I think that the issue is one of what's the normal neutral and what are the alternatives.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Is 'any' singular or plural

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    Personally, I don't think that it's a matter of "preferable". I think that the issue is one of what's the normal neutral and what are the alternatives.
    Yes, I agree. It's another way of putting it.


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