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    #1

    obligatory or optional

    Is there any milk in the fridge?
    Is there milk in the fridge?

    There is some milk in the fridge..
    There is milk in the fridge.
    There isn't any milk in the fridge.
    We don't have milk in the fridge..
    We don't have any milk in the fridge.

    Is "any" obligatory or optional in the dialy English activitives especially in verbal English?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: obligatory or optional

    All of your sentences are possible.

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    #3

    Re: obligatory or optional

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    All of your sentences are possible.
    Thanks.

    Many native English speakers do not use the "any". However,many grammar textbooks teach us to use 'any' in questions and negative sentences. Can I say for formal English we use "any" and for informal English we don't use "any"?

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    #4

    Re: obligatory or optional

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    Many native English speakers do not use the "any".I feel that most do
    However,many grammar textbooks teach us to use 'any' in questions and negative sentences. Can I say for formal English we use "any" and for informal English we don't use "any"? No
    It is not a question of formality. Swan (2005) suggests:

    "We prefer some/anywhen we are thinking about limited but rather indefinite numbers or quantities,....We prefer no article when we are thinking about unlimited numbers or quantities, or not thinking about numbers/quantities at all."

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    #5

    Re: obligatory or optional

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is not a question of formality. Swan (2005) suggests:

    "We prefer some/anywhen we are thinking about limited but rather indefinite numbers or quantities,....We prefer no article when we are thinking about unlimited numbers or quantities, or not thinking about numbers/quantities at all."
    Thanks.

    Swan (2005) suggests:

    We prefer some/anywhen we are thinking about limited but rather indefinite numbers or quantities-when we don't know , care or sayexactly how much/many.We prefer no article when we are thinking about unlimited numbers or quantities, or not thinking about numbers/quantities at all. Compare:

    -We've planted some roses in the garden. (A limited number)
    I like roses. (No idea of number)
    -Is there any water in the fridge? (A limited number)

    I'm confused! According to the above suggestion by Swan 2005, it seems that he did not mention whether "any" is obligatory or optional. For example:

    Is there any water in the fridge?

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    #6

    Re: obligatory or optional

    He uses the verb prefer- if we prefer something, isn't it logical to deduce that it is not obligatory?

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    #7

    Re: obligatory or optional

    it seems that he did not mention whether "any" is obligatory or optional.
    He does. Swan 2005, 55. 4., Nouns with or without any

    Quote Originally Posted by bh1234 View Post
    I'm confused!
    Do not be.


    Is there water in the fridge? -- The interest is in the existence of water, not the amount. The questioner expects a yes-no answer.

    Is there any water in the fridge? -- The interest is in [the existence as well as the amount] of water. The questioner expects an answer along the lines of "Yes, there are two gallons of water there."

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