When writing work emails, we often sign off with a polite “please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.” But is it ANY QUESTIONS or ANY QUESTION?
The problem: any question vs. any questions
If you have to write emails for work, you have probably come across this issue: should the word “any” be followed by a singular or plural noun?
Expressions like “let me know if you have any questions” or “contact me if you have any queries” are the norm, but using the same noun in its singular form (any question, any query) is now commonplace. Is this wrong?
The answer is a bit more complicated than just right or wrong; while it is not necessarily incorrect to use a singular noun after the word “any”, there is a slight difference in the meaning of the sentence. Let’s take a closer look at the following expressions:
- Do you have any information about the project?
- Do you have any questions about the project?
- Do you have any question about the project?
Sentence (a) shows an uncountable noun, information. Uncountable nouns are easier to remember as there is no variation. But sentences (b) and (c) show a countable noun in its plural and singular form, respectively. If you want to know more about countable and uncountable nouns, check out this quick guide from Oxford Dictionaries!
Which one should I use?
According to BBC Learning English, the difference between the two sentences lies in the meaning: while (b) is interpreted simply as “Do you have questions?”, (c) seems to emphasize any as in any type (e.g. “Do you have any kind of question?”).
[ctt template=”1″ link=”pccb8″ via=”no” ]“Do you have any questions?” and “Do you have any question?” are similar, but different in meaning. Read more on https://goo.gl/SH0pRx [/ctt]
When in doubt, think about the meaning you want to convey. Do you want to say “send me an email if you have queries in general”, or “call me if you have any type of query”? Depending on your purpose, you’ll need to use either the plural or singular form of the noun.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to find out more about this handy little word and its many uses, watch this cool video lesson about the differences between some and any:
And if you want more work-related tips, make sure you check out our Business Channel at VoiceTube!