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Hi,

Some animals seem very intelligent because they use all of their intelligence, all of their grey matter. But they are still less intelligent than any humans.
Some people seem very stupid because they waste most of their intelligence, most of their grey matter. But they are still more intelligent than any animals.


Is there something wrong with those sentences? I'm not sure about the parts in blue. I'm always having trouble with the choice of the singlular or the plural after "any"... human or humas, animal or animals?
Thanks Emotion: smile
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Hi Kooyeen

You can use the singular when you mean "any one human/animal. It doesn't matter which one you choose or consider because each one will be the same."

Another example:
I couldn't find the definition of that word in any dictionary. = I looked in ten different dictionaries and that word wasn't in any one of them/wasn't even in one of them.
There weren't/wasn't any signs/sign before the bombing in Bali.

Amy, according to your explanation, 'sign' is correct but what about 'signs'?

Thanks
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Thank you Amy.
Yes, I see. After reading my sentences again, it is clear I should have chosen the singular.
New2grammarThere weren't/wasn't any signs/sign before the bombing in Bali.

Amy, according to your explanation, 'sign' is correct but what about 'signs'?
Hi N2G,
I'm not sure what you want to say, but I think you need to say "signs". I would use "signs" if there could have been more than one sign, and "sign" if only a sign was expected. I think the "any" in your sentence is different from the one in mine, in other words, your "any" doesn't mean "any one of them, it doesn't matter which".
Emotion: smile

Hi New2grammar

What I was trying to describe is connected with a single choice among things in a clearly named group of things. As an illustration of what I'm talking about, I don't really feel comfortable with your sentence as it is worded.

1- Before the Bali bombings, there wasn't a single sign of impending disaster.
2- Before the Bali bombings, there wasn't any sign of impending disaster.
3- Before the Bali bombings, there was no sign of impending disaster.

The first three sentences emphasize the idea of one (in this case, not even one).

4- Before the Bali bombings, there weren't any signs of impending disaster.
5- Before the Bali bombings, there were no signs of impending disaster.

Sentences 4 and 5 focus more generally on the idea of zero or none. Sentences 4 and 5 suggest that one or more signs could have been possible, but none of these possibilities happened.

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Here is another example of what I mean by "it doesn't matter which one" when using 'any' + a singular noun:

Q: Who should I ask to find out how to build the passive form of the present perfect?
A: You can ask any English teacher. (In other words, it doesn't matter which one you ask -- and asking one randomly chosen English teacher is enough because all of them will be able to answer your question.)
Amy,

Sorry can't help it but ask. Is it true that "any" could be used in certain plural context?

In many inter-office menos, at the closing, people tend to say "please let me know if you have any questions", and the authors are natives. Is this an exception or a mistake?
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Any has several meanings. So far you've only discussed meaning number one. With meanings 2 it can be used with plurals.

Any: From Merriam-Webster

1: one or some indiscriminately of whatever kind: a: one or another taken at random <ask any man you meet> b: every— used to indicate one selected without restriction <any child would know that>

2: one, some, or all indiscriminately of whatever quantity: a: one or more — used to indicate an undetermined number or amount <have you any money> b: all— used to indicate a maximum or whole <needs any help he can get> c: a or some without reference to quantity or extent <grateful for any favor at all>

3 a: unmeasured or unlimited in amount, number, or extent <any quantity you desire> b: appreciably large or extended <could not endure it any length of time>

Hi Goodman

"Please let me know if you have any questions" is standard.
Hi,

Could you please tell me about this sentence? Is it completely correct?

"Do you know any buldings need a humidity controller?"

Isn't this sentence better:

"Do you know that any bulding needs a humidity controller?"
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