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Example 1) There are some apples on the table. -> Are there any apples on the table?
Example 2) There is some rice in the box. -> Is there any rice in the box?

In the above examples #1 and #2, #1 is the case for countable nouns; #2 is the case for uncountable nouns.

Now, how about this: "Is there any way to save his life?"
The term "way" is a countable noun, but this sentence starts with "Is there way...?" instead of "Are there any ways...?". According to some dictionaries, they say that when the noun is countable, usually a question starts with "Are there...," not "Is there...". That's why, I have started to wonder if this sentence form "Is there...?" is actually correct or not. I got confused...help me, please.
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Do native speakers say like this?? Is it grammatically correct?
Do native speakers say it like this? or Do native speakers say this?
Answer: Not usually, but it is grammatically correct.

It seems to me that the tendency is to use the plural when asking about the possibility that certain known entities have their location at a particular place.

Are there any keys in that drawer?
Are there any students in that classroom?
Are there any books on the shelf?


But the singular might be used when asking for a confirmation about the existence of at least one such item, as if there were some doubt about its very existence, thus:

Is there any student willing to sing a Mozart aria in front of the class?
You must need glasses. Take a look at that table once again. Now, tell me. Is there any apple on that table?
Is there any bird that is known to have no feathers?


The sentences in the latter group may be stated in the plural as well.

CJ
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Hi,

Example 1) There are some apples on the table. -> Are there any apples on the table? OK
Example 2) There is some rice in the box. -> Is there any rice in the box?
OK
In the above examples #1 and #2, #1 is the case for countable nouns; #2 is the case for uncountable nouns.

Now, how about this: "Is there any way to save his life?"
The term "way" is a countable noun, but this sentence starts with "Is there way...?" instead of "Are there any ways...?". According to some dictionaries, they say that when the noun is countable, usually a question starts with "Are there...," not "Is there...". That's why, I have started to wonder if this sentence form "Is there...?" is actually correct or not.


You can ask both ways, depending on what you want to know.

Is there any way? You are just asking about one way. If I answer 'Yes', then you might ask me 'What is it?' and I would tell you about one way.

Are there any ways? You are asking if there are multiple ways. If I answer 'Yes', then you might ask me 'What are they?' and I would tell you about seven different ways.

Best wishes, Clive
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Comments  
Hmmm, I see.
If I could use either way, does this mean that the following sentence is also correct?

"Is there any apple on the table?"

Do native speakers say like this?? Is it grammatically correct?
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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CalifJim,

Thank you very much for your detailied information and advice on this matter.
Now I think that I have finally come to understood when is more appropriate to use singular or plural in questions which start with "Is there any..." or "Are there any...".

In the same concept, can I say, for example, "If there is any apple in the box, please let me know"? (This sentence sounds like "if there is any single apple in the box, please let me know." Correct??)
Also, can I say "If there are any apples in the box, please let me know"?
I don't think that this is grammatically correct and native speaker, which I am, wouldn't say it.

What we would say is

"Is there an apple on the table?"

Actually now that I think of it it is correct when you change the subject, which is the apple. For example "Is there any beer?" That makes sense to me. It's just that with "Is there any ..." makes me expect the subject to be plural and "apple" is not in plural form.
Thanks for your great ideas and insight I am a student trying to do my homework... I love studying new thing , let me give you a hinte my mayor subject is English.... moreover I want to improve my life anyway , it's my pressure to meet you....
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Are any animals there?

Is the above question grammarlly correct ?

“Are any animals there?”


This is incorrect. You should use the word “Is” because you are asking about a singular, not plural, event. You are asking about the state of being at one particular moment. You are asking whether there is animals in existence at a singular location and time.