Many people accidentally use “is there any” when they should be using “are there any,” and vice versa.
Learning when to use each phrase correctly will make your writing sound clearer, more readable, and more professional.
So when do you use each construction? It depends on the noun you’re talking about in the sentence.
If it’s a plural noun, you should use the verb are, and if it’s a singular or uncountable noun, you should use the verb is.
This complete guide covers the difference between “is there any” and “are there any” with tips to help you remember when to use each sentence construction.
- Difference Between Is There Any and Are There Any
- Examples of Is There Any or Are There Any
- Examples of Are There Any Used Correctly
- How About If There Is Any or If There Are Any?
- Conclusion on Is There Any or Are There Any
Difference Between Is There Any and Are There Any
The key difference between “is there any” and “are there any” boils down to the difference between is and are.
We use is when we’re talking about a singular person or thing.
For example, you might say “There is an Italian restaurant nearby,” because “Italian restaurant” is a singular noun.
We use are when we’re talking about multiple people or things.
To return to our earlier example, you would say “There are three Italian restaurants nearby,” because there are multiple locations.
The same rule holds true when you’re asking a question. If the noun is plural, use “Are there any.” If the noun is singular, use “Is there any.”
How to Use Is There Any Correctly
We use the sentence construction “Is there any…?” to ask if something exists, or if there is something in a specific place.
Whenever you’re talking about a singular countable noun, you should use “Is there any” instead of “Are there any.”
For example, you would say “Is there any chance we can get back together?” because the noun, “chance,” is singular and quantifiable.
You should also use “Is there any” if you’re talking about an uncountable noun, which is something that doesn’t have a clearly defined quantity.
Common examples of uncountable nouns include words such as love, bread, and butter.
You wouldn’t say “three breads,” for example. If you wanted to describe a quantity of bread, you would use specific units such as slices or loaves, or you might just say “a lot of bread” or “ a little bit of bread.”
Countable nouns, on the other hand, are nouns you can quantify numerically without units, such as people, books, and apples. It would make sense to say "I have three apples."
A key difference between countable and uncountable nouns is that uncountable nouns are considered singular, even when you’re talking about large quantities of these things.
That's why you should also use “Is there any” with uncountable nouns, unless you specify a unit.
For example, you would ask “Is there any butter in the fridge?” because “butter” is uncountable.
It would be grammatically incorrect to answer with a number, such as “Yes, there are two butters in the fridge.”
Instead, you would simply answer “Yes, there is some butter in the fridge.” or “No, there is no butter in the fridge.”
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How to Use Are There Any Correctly
We use the sentence construction “Are there any…?” to ask if there are multiple people or things in a specific place.
You should use “Are there any” whenever you’re talking about a plural countable noun.
For example, you would say “Are there any croissants left at the bakery?” because “croissants” is a plural countable noun.
You can answer this question with a number, such as “Yes, there are three croissants left.” or “Yes, there are twenty croissants left.”
Similarly, you might say “Are there any other problems I can help you with today?” because “problems” is both plural and countable.
Again, you can answer with a number, such as “Yes, I have five more problems to ask you about.”
You can also respond with a generic quantity, such as “Yes, I have some more problems to ask you about” or “Yes, I have lots of problems to ask you about.”
The only time you should use "Are there any" with an uncountable noun is if you specify the unit.
For example, you would say "Are there any loaves of bread in the pantry?," even though "bread" is an uncountable noun, because you're asking about the countable noun loaves.
Examples of Is There Any or Are There Any
Let’s look at some examples of each of these sentence constructions from popular writings.
Examples of Is There Any Used Correctly
Here are some examples of “Is there any” from successful English books used with singular countable or uncountable nouns.
“Is there any finer phrase in the English language than Midsummer Day?”—Deanna Raybourn, Midsummer Night
“Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?”—Ian McEwan, Atonement
“Is there any phrase more ominous than ‘you need to see exactly what you've done’?”—Stephen King, 11/22/63
“Is there any sort of situation where you can say with certainty that a single person is responsible for what happens? Everything in life is dependent on so many different factors that interact in so many different ways.”—M.T. Edvardsson, A Nearly Normal Family
“Is there any other way to be? I mean, this is it. This is my body, my soul; I gotta live with it. I'd better get comfortable. I plan on taking it for a long ride.”—Cecil Castellucci, Boy Proof
“Is there any person in the world who does not dream? Who does not contain within them worlds unimagined?”—Neil Gaiman, Worlds’ End
Examples of Are There Any Used Correctly
Here are some examples of “are there any” used with plural nouns.
“Are there any two words in all of the English language more closely twinned than courage and cowardice? I do not think there is a man alive who will not yearn to possess the former and dread to be accused of the latter.”—Geraldine Brooks, March
“Are there any rules when it comes to love? There is just one: Let it change you. Let it leave you better than you were before.”—Bianca Sparacino, The Strength in Our Scars
“Are there any questions you don’t want to know the answer to?”—Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
“Are there any leading men in your life?”—Catherine Lowell, The Madwoman Upstairs
“Are there any capitalist cats?”—Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
“Are there any particular majors you’re interested in?”—Emma Mills, First & Then
How About If There Is Any or If There Are Any?
The same general principles apply to the phrases “If there is any” vs “If there are any.”
Once again, you should use is with singular countable or uncountable nouns, and are with plural countable nouns.
Examples of If There Is Any
Here are some examples of “If there is any” from English books.
“If there is any possible consolation in the tragedy of losing someone we love very much, it's the necessary hope that perhaps it was for the best.”—Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello
“If there is any intelligence guiding this universe, philosophy wishes to know and understand it and reverently work with it; if there is none, philosophy wishes to know that also, and face it without fear.”—Will Durant, The Pleasures of Philosophy
“If there is any society among robbers and murderers, they must at least…abstain from robbing and murdering one another.”—Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
“If there is any good in life, in history, in my own past, I invoke it now. I invoke it with all the passion with which I have lived.”—Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian
Examples of If There Are Any
Here are some examples of “If there are any” used in a sentence.
“If there are any curses left in baseball, they are all on the north side of Chicago.”—Tucker Elliot, Boston Red Sox
“I’m not even sure if there are any windows in this particular house.”—Richard Yates, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
“Even rudimentary pidgin codes that serve as linguae francae turn almost immediately into creole languages of great complexity if there are any children around learning those codes as native languages.”—Gilles Fauconnier, The Way We think
“If there are any limits to what can be done, the limit is right here (in your head). You've got to get physically fit between your ears. Muscles don't know anything. They have to be thought.”—Noah Hawley, Before the Fall
Conclusion on Is There Any or Are There Any
When in doubt whether you should use “is there any or “are there any,” try answering the question you’re asking.
If you would answer the question with the word is, then you should use “Is there any.”
If you would answer the question with the word are, then you should use “Are there any.”
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'Questions' is a plural countable noun. Grammatically, it is incorrect to use 'is' with plural countable nouns. Therefore, we must use “are there any questions?” instead of “is there any questions?”Is there or are there correct? ›
Use there is when the noun is singular (“There is a cat”). Use there are when the noun is plural (“There are two cats”).Is it plural or singular after any? ›
“Any” can be singular or plural when you use it as a pronoun, depending on whether it refers to a countable noun (like “book” or “books”) or an uncountable noun (like “water”). “Any” is singular when it modifies singular countable nouns, and it becomes plural when used with plural countable nouns.Is there any changes or are there any changes? ›
The word "changes" is a plural noun that needs a plural form of the verb. The noun and verb agree in the phrase "If there are changes"; therefore, this phrase is correct, unlike "If there is any changes."Are there any update or is there any update? ›
Both phrases are correct, as the verbs agree with the nouns ("are" and "updates," and "is" and "update").Is there any people or are there any people? ›
“People” is the plural noun form of “person” and, therefore, requires a plural verb. In English, the subject and verb must agree, so we always say “there are people,” making “there is people” wrong.Is there are there examples? ›
There is, there are — how to form.
|Type of sentence||Singular||Plural|
|Negative||There is not ... (= There isn't / There's not)||There are not ... (= There aren't)|
|Question||Is there...?||Are there...?|
There is is used for the singular nouns, in other words, it is used when we refer just to one thing. On the other hand, There are is used for the plural nouns, in other words, it is used when we refer to more than one thing.Is there any or are any? ›
The same rule holds true when you're asking a question. If the noun is plural, use “Are there any.” If the noun is singular, use “Is there any.”Is there any student or are there any students? ›
Which is correct "Is there any other student in your group?" or "Are there any other students in your group?"? Both are correct.
Any is normally used with plural and uncountable nouns in questions, negative and conditional sentences: Do we have any beer? ~ Yes, we do. It's in the fridge. Do we have any glasses? ~ Yes, we do.Is there any or some milk? ›
Could you give me some advice, please? We use any with the plural form of countable nouns and with uncountable nouns. Any is used in questions. Is there any milk in the fridge?How do you teach there is and there are? ›
The way I like to do this is throwing a ball around the room, with each person adding one word as they throw the ball on, leading to sentences like “There” “are” “four” “legs” “on” “the” “table” and “There” “is” “not” “an” “elephant” “in” “this” “room”.Are there anything else or is there anything else? ›
Is there anything vs Are there anything. "Anything" is treated as singular in English, so use "is there anything."Is there any chances or are there any chances? ›
is there any chance vs are there any chances. A complete search of the internet has found these results: is there any chance is the most popular phrase on the web.Are there anymore or any more? ›
Just remember: If you're talking about a quantity of something, use any more. If you're talking about time, use anymore. Your writing, at its best.What happened grammatically correct? ›
Both forms are grammatically correct (contrary to the insistence of some British grammar purists). The first one (“What happened?”) is the one most of us would likely ever need in normal life. Use “did” when we knew something had happened but wanted more details.How do you politely ask if there are any updates? ›
An effective update request is professional and polite
For example, if you're communicating with a team member you've known for years, it would be fine to phrase an update request like this: “Please send over a status update for project X. Thanks.”
- "Can you please update me?"
- "Would it be possible to receive an update?"
- "Would you kindly give me an update?"
- "Can you please give me a quick update?"
- "Just checking in"
- "I wanted to see how things were going"
- 1 Ask.
- 2 Open with context.
- 3 Send a friendly reminder.
- 4 Offer something of value.
- 5 Reference a blog post they (or their company) published.
- 6 Drop a name.
- 7 Recommend an event you're attending in their area.
if you use "people" as a collective noun such as "family" then you may use "is." but for the word "people" itself is considered as plural, to use "are" is more usual.Is anyone or are anyone Which is correct? ›
It's “is any one of you.” One is singular, so it takes is, not are. For clarity in your writing, this is a case where not making “anyone” a compound noun, but instead leaving it as a phrase (“any one”), is helpful.Is it there are a lot of people or there is a lot of people? ›
"A lot" is singular but "people" is plural. “There are a lot of people” is correct because the image presented is “many people.” In this sense, “a lot of” is a synonym of “lots of” and “many,” both of which are plural.Is there any one or are there anyone? ›
Since both any one and anyone are singular, the correct singular verb is is, and therefore, are anyone of you is wrong. Can you write a song here?Is there any juice or is there some juice? ›
The basic difference is that we use “any” in the question form and in the negative form, and we use “some” in the positive form. For example: Do you have any juice?Is there homework or are there homework? ›
Because it is an uncountable noun and is not used in the plural as it is always singular. I don't have much homework today The teacher gave us a lot of homework. Tim has four pieces of homework to complete for today. Do you have any homework?Is any student singular or plural? ›
Every is always followed by a singular verb: Every student in the class is capable of passing the exam.Can I use any with singular nouns? ›
Any refers to one, several or all of a total number. We use every not any with singular countable nouns when we mean 'each individual member of a group of something'. You can come over for dinner any evening. It doesn't matter which one, or you can come every evening.Have you got some or any juice? ›
We use any with uncountable nouns in negative sentences and in most questions. I haven't got any milk. There isn't any juice. Have you got any rice?
The word ANY means some, or even the smallest amount or number of. Therefore, you can't use the singular form. The correct way to 'say this would be: ''Any questions? '' or in a full sentence ''Do you have any questions?Are there any or some apples? ›
We want to know if there are any apples at all or there are no apples. This is where we need some and any. You can use them with both countable and uncountable nouns. We don't use any with singular countable nouns (like a book, a dog, a laptop).Are there any or some rice? ›
The general rule is that any is used for questions and negatives while some is used for positive. Both may be used with countable and uncountable nouns. Do we need any rice? No, we don't need any rice.Is or are there any peas? ›
So, etymolgically, one would expect "peas" to be singular, but the English mistook the final "s" for a plural, so in English we say "pea" in the singular and "peas" in the plural. Anyhow the correct grammar: Are there any peas? Yes, there are, but not many, just a few.What is the rule for there? ›
Their is the possessive pronoun, as in "their car is red"; there is used as an adjective, "he is always there for me," a noun, "get away from there," and, chiefly, an adverb, "stop right there"; they're is a contraction of "they are," as in "they're getting married."How many are there vs there are? ›
When we use “There is/are” to form a statement, “there” indicates the state (there or not, a bit like to be or not). In this use, it functions like a subject. So we have “How many are there?” but “He asked how many there are.” However, “there” can also be used to indicate a location.What we call there is and there are? ›
There is and there are [there exists etc.] are called existential sentences or utterances.Is there something wrong or is there anything wrong? ›
In your examples, "Is there something wrong" probably implies you feel something might be wrong and want to confirm with others while "Is there anything wrong" is just a general inquiry whether anything is wrong at all.Is there any thing else meaning? ›
Is there anything else you want?; Is there any other matter you wish to discuss?; Is there any other request? (These phrases are used by shopkeepers, clerks, and food service personnel to find out if the customer wants anything more.) Clerk: Here's the roast you ordered.Is there anything or nothing? ›
'Anything' is NOT a negative maker, but 'nothing' is. 'Nothing' is not normally used in questions. Use 'Anything' in questions and negative sentences. 'Anything' refers to the presence of something (it doesn't matter what); 'Nothing' refers to the absence of something.
If you use any or some with countable nouns, the nouns should be plural, i.e. you should add an 's'. If the noun following any or some is uncountable, don't add an 's'. Many native speakers nowadays break the first of these rules.Is any one singular or plural? ›
Indefinite pronouns that end in -one are always singular. These words include anyone, everyone, someone, and one. Indefinite pronouns that end in -body are always singular.Can we use any with singular countable nouns? ›
Any refers to one, several or all of a total number. We use every not any with singular countable nouns when we mean 'each individual member of a group of something'. You can come over for dinner any evening. It doesn't matter which one, or you can come every evening.What is the rule with apostrophes after an S? ›
Only when the word is plural and possessive do you place the apostrophe outside the "s." But many students and many lawyers I teach do not follow this rule. Their practice is that any time a words ends in "s," you put an apostrophe after the "s" to make it possessive.Do any of you know or does any of you know? ›
“Do any of you have …?” is correct, because “any of you" assumes there are multiple people involved (when “do” is used, “any of …” requires a plural noun or pronoun following “of,” and “you” is always treated as if it is plural in such a situation). Please remember to add a direct object to this sentence.Is any one of you or are any one of you? ›
To be precise, it's “is any one of you.” Not “anyone.” And it's “is” because you are describing the “one” not the “any.” Take the “any” our of the phrase.Has anyone or has any one? ›
The indefinite pronoun "anyone"—used as a single word—refers to any person at all, but not to any particular individual. "Any one"—used as two words—is an adjective phrase that refers to any single member of a group of either people or things.Are the subject anyone no one and each singular or plural? ›
The words and phrases "each," "each one," "either," "neither," "everyone," "everybody," "anyone," "anybody," "nobody," "somebody," "someone," and "no one" are singular and require a singular verb.What are 10 examples of countable nouns? ›
- dog, cat, animal, man, person.
- bottle, box, litre.
- coin, note, dollar.
- cup, plate, fork.
- table, chair, suitcase, bag.