philosoraptor wrote: existenz wrote: gladitsover wrote: existenz wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but I was hoping some English majors could help me out.
On the Michigan blog, Dean Zearfoss quotes a former student
who writes that he was lambasted for failing to have his noun agree with his verb in something he wrote for the law school paper.
The phrase in question is: "If any of you have had..."
Can somebody tell me what is wrong with the grammar in this phrase? I must be missing something because I don't see it, so any enlightenment would help.
It should be "if any of you has had" any is a singular pronoun
"Any" is singular if it implies "any one
." It is plural if it implies "any two
," "any three
," "any number
." "None" is the pronoun that always implies singular. I think Dean Z's point is that if you attach "of you" to a numerical pronoun, you have to make sure the verb agrees with the pronoun instead of with "you." E.g., "none of you is
willing to help"; "are
any (number) of you available?" (Or "Is
any of you available?" if you need only one person.)
At least for me, the confusion/doesn't-sound-right-feeling comes from using the abbreviated statement. "If any of you has had" doesn't sound that off, but if you add the implied noun, i.e. "if any one
of you has had," it sounds much better. The same goes for the other examples even more so. "None of you is willing to help," and, "is any of you available," although grammatically correct, don't sound right. But if you add back in the implied nouns - "Not one
of you is willing to help," and, "is any one
of you available" - it makes sense why it is that way, and sounds correct.