"IF THERE IS ANY" VS "IF THERE ARE ANY"

Should I use "if there is any" or "if there are any" in the following sentences? Are they all correct? Can I ever use if there is any with singular countable nouns? 

Please let me know if there is any problem.

Please let me know if there are any problems.

If there is any book that is better than yours, it is this one.

If there are any books that are better than yours, it is this one.

If there is any scooter or bike parked in front my door, I will throw it away.

If there are any scooters or bikesparked in front my door, I will throw them away.


subject-verb-agreement
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edited Jan 26, 2019 at 18:19
subhajit dalal
asked Jan 26, 2019 at 13:08
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Like most adjectives in English, "any" does not have a grammatical number. It works with countably singular nouns. It works with uncountably singular nouns. It works with plural nouns.

The pronouns "it" và "them", however, vì chưng have grammatical number. The pronouns "he", "she" and "it" are all singular. The pronoun "them" is plural.*

Please let me know if there is any problem. Please let me know if there are any problems.

These sentences work. In the first, the khung "is" agrees with its singular subject. In the second, the khung "are" agrees with its plural subject.

If there is any scooter or xe đạp parked in front my door, I will throw it away. If there are any scooters or bikes parked in front my door, I will throw them away.

Both of these sentences work. The "it" refers khổng lồ the singular "any scooter or bike". The "them" refers to lớn the plural "any scooters or bikes".

If there is any book that is better than yours, it is this one. *If there are any books that are better than yours, it is this one.

There is a problem with the second sentence of this pair. In the first, "any book" is singular, and the pronoun "it" refers to this antecedent. In the second, "any books" is plural, but "this one" is singular. The pronoun "it" has no clear antecedent, but we have reason khổng lồ use some singular form. One way lớn fix the problem is to lớn use a different pronoun:

If there are any books that are better than yours, this is one.

Of course, another way lớn fix the problem is to simply use the first version of the sentence. It"s easier khổng lồ keep grammatical number in agreement when only one number is relevant.

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*The use of "they", "them" & "their" lớn represent a singular person without reference to lớn gender is gaining popularity. Even so, we still use "it" for singular things and "they" form plural things. The so-called singular they only works for people.

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