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  1. #1
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    Smile Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    I frequently hear people saying that a noun after the word 'any' should be singular, but I've seen plural nouns used after the word 'any' as well. Please advise whether the following sentence is grammatically acceptable in using the phrase 'connecting parties' (plural) after the word 'any'.

    --
    Computers or any connecting parties set to standby mode will not provide significant power savings.
    --

    Here's some background information on the sentence. In the case here, the preceding sentence refers to an object which is a network device with expected multiple connections of other devices to it.

    Appreciate your expert advice. Thank you.

  2. #2
    oregeezer is offline Member
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    Default Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    As a slightly computer literate native speaker of American English I find the sentence a little confusing. "Parties" usually refers to a group of PEOPLE. You say there is ONE device (a network device) which in turn may have multiple connections. Since the sentence is NEGATIVE (will not provide power savings) why not just say:

    " Computers or any connected device set to standby mode will not provide significant power savings. "

    Using the same word to refer to the same component helps the less sophisticated computer users when you are writing computer manuals. You only need a variety of terms when writing novels!
    Last edited by oregeezer; 17-Jan-2008 at 03:34. Reason: Quick Edit box not same size after posting. Rearrange lines.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    I could be wrong but I always thought it was the opposite. The use of any should be followed by a plural noun or uncountable e.g.

    Do you have any brothers or sisters?

    Have you got any unusual habits?

    You wouldn't say:

    Have you got any unusual habit?

    Where you may be getting confused is in sentences where any is followed by an uncountable noun such as rice.

    I haven't got any rice.

    Regards


    Mak.
    Last edited by makaveli; 17-Jan-2008 at 05:47.

  4. #4
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    Question Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    Thank you for your responses.

    I agree the phrase 'connecting parties' probably refers to people, and in this case, possibly the people connecting their devices to the network device.

    Suppose this is the case, can you please advise whether the sentence is grammatically correct?

    The reason for this question is primarily to decide on whether the sentence is grammatically correct, as the 'article' has already been published. There are, however, dispute among a few of us over the use, so what needs to known for now is whether the sentence is grammatically acceptable.

    Your expert advice is appreciated.

  5. #5
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    Default Advice still needed on singular-plural use of noun after 'any'

    I still need to know whether the sentence is grammatically correct. Please advise.

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    Your sentence is just fine. There is no rule about using singular or plural with any.

    Any student who wishes to learn will have to study.
    Any students who wish to learn will have to study.

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    After looking this up Mykwyner is correct. However any is not usually used with singular nouns that's why we have a, an and the. Its use is generally for things that are indefinite in number (we are unsure of the amount) such as: Have you got any beer?

    So although completely fine I would say that it's a little surprising that you hear it frequently; as it is clearly not used frequently in this way!

    It certainly helped me refresh.


    Mak

  8. #8
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    Wink Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    Thank you for your advice! Appreciate your clarification.

  9. #9
    sitifan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Use of singular or plural noun after 'any'

    Declaratives:

    *I have any child.
    *I have any children.
    *I have any money.
    *There is any hospital in our town.
    *There are any hospitals in our town.
    *There is any money on the table.

    Interrogatives:

    *Do you have any child? (But there are some special uses.)
    Do you have any children?
    Do you have any money?
    Is there any hospital in your town?
    Are there any hospitals in your town?
    Is there any money on the table?

    Negatives:

    *I don't have any child. (But there are some special uses.)
    I don't have any children.
    I don't have any money.
    There isn't any hospital in our town.
    There aren't any hospitals in our town.
    There isn't any money on the table.

    The interrogative with any can be made correct in the right context.

    -- Can you bring the package in your truck?
    -- I don't have a truck.
    -- Can you bring it in your car?
    -- I don't have a car.
    -- Do you have any vehicle?
    (Emphasize any with your voice.)

    But you cannot start a conversation with, for example,
    Do you have any truck/car/vehicle?
    It must be
    Do you have a truck/car/vehicle?

    The negative with any can be made correct in the right context.

    -- Please enroll your son Eric in school by September 1.
    -- I don't have a son Eric.
    -- Excuse me. I mean your son Peter.
    -- I don't have a son Peter. I don't have any son.

    -- Look at that beautiful bird!
    -- Where?
    -- There. In that tree.
    -- I don't see any bird.


    This means that, provided you think up the right context, any of your examples might be correct. It's just that a few of them don't seem correct at all in isolation.

    CJ

    Any, a

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