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    #1

    a singular or a plural word used before "any"

    I would like to talk about the following questions.

    (1a) Do any of the people in this room have a parrot at home?

    (1b) Does any of the people in this room have a parrot at home?

    Let me make up a few sentences for the next two questions.

    A lion is an animal. Cherries are fruit. A pigeon is a bird. A baseball is smaller than a basketball.

    (2a) Are any of these sentences interesting to you?

    (2b) Is any of these sentences interesting to you?


    I have heard from someone that (1a) and (2a) are correct, but not the other two. I thought that all of the examples above would be correct. The word, "any" could refer to one or more things. If "any" refers to one thing, then a singular verb is correct. If it refers to two or more things, then a plural verb is correct. Because we are not sure how many things "any" refers to, can I use either form of a verb?

    Could someone please explain this? Thank you very much.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a singular or a plural word used before "any"

    The correct sentences are 1a and 2a.

    Even though it is odd, when the subject of a sentence refers to a part of a whole, the object of the preposition controls the verb number.

    If you wish to use the singular, 1b could be "Does anybody in this room..."?
    If you wish to use the singular in 2b, you could use "Is any sentence here interesting..."?

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