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    #1

    any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Hello, 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.


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    #2

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Hello, 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.
    Both are fine, and I prefer #1.

    He is taller than any (one) boy.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Hello, 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.
    1. is correct.
    Strictly speaking, if 'he' is a boy in your class you should say:
    He is taller than any other boy in my class - because you can't be taller than yourself.


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    #4

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    He is taller than any other boy in my class - because you can't be taller than yourself.
    Why do you take it for granted that he is part of 'my' class?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    Why do you take it for granted that he is part of 'my' class?
    I don't. That is why I included the part which you haven't quoted.


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    #6

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    He is taller than any boy in the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    because you can't be taller than yourself.


    Where is the incongruity?

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    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.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    Where is the incongruity?
    In the box?
    Sorry, I don't understand your last message.


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    #9

    Re: any singular noun or any plural noun?

    Hello Ray

    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.

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    #10

    Re: any singular noun or any plural 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.

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