Meaning of ANY in English

ANY

I

adverb

BAD : People go there when they are not able any more to look after themselves.

GOOD : People go there when they are not able to look after themselves any more.

BAD : The state does not any more provide a pension for everyone.

GOOD : The state does not provide a pension for everyone any more.

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When used in connection with time, any more usually comes at the end of the sentence: 'Helen doesn't work here any more.'

Note the alternatives: 'People go there when they are no longer able to look after themselves.' 'The state no longer provides a pension for everyone.'

II

pronoun

1

BAD : Any day was the same.

GOOD : Each day was the same.

BAD : Any smoker must remember that the people around him are inhaling the smoke.

GOOD : Every smoker must remember that the people around him are inhaling the smoke.

BAD : Any parents are thrilled when their first baby arrives.

GOOD : All parents are thrilled when their first baby arrives.

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To refer to all the people or things in a group or category, use each/every + singular countable noun OR all + plural countable noun (NOT any ): 'Every house in the street had one or two broken windows.' 'All students are required to register during the first week.'

2

BAD : If you have any question, ask your teacher.

GOOD : If you have any questions, ask your teacher.

BAD : She doesn't have any friend.

GOOD : She doesn't have any friends.

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When any is used with a countable noun, the noun is usually plural: 'a question' BUT 'any questions'.

3

BAD : Has Atsuko found any job yet?

GOOD : Has Atsuko found a job yet?

BAD : If there is any hole in the balloon, the air will escape.

GOOD : If there is a hole in the balloon, the air will escape.

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Any is usually used with uncountable nouns and plural countables (NOT with singular countable nouns). Compare: 'Do you have any money?' ( money is an uncountable noun) 'Do you have any fifty-cent coins?' ( coins is a plural countable noun) 'Do you have a fifty-cent coin?' ( coin is a singular countable noun)

Note, however: 'I'll accept any job I'm offered.' (= it does not matter which job)

4

BAD : When he asked if he could use the telephone, he was told that the family didn't have any.

GOOD : When he asked if he could use the telephone, he was told that the family didn't have one.

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Do not use any as a pronoun for a singular countable noun (see last entry). Compare: 'He asked for some help but nobody gave him any.' ( help is an uncountable noun) 'She wanted to borrow some books but nobody would lend her any.' ( books is a plural countable noun) 'I need a new computer but I can't afford one.' ( computer is a singular countable noun)

Longman Common Errors English vocabulary.      Английский словарь распространенных ошибок Longman.