General Writing and Grammar Help/Any book - any books

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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following sentences is correct and natural?

1) She didn't have any book with her.

2) She didn't have any books with her.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

As Always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following sentences is correct and natural?

1) She didn't have any book with her.

2) She didn't have any books with her.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

*** Sentence #2 is correct.  The first sentence is wrong, because the word "any" requires a plural noun after it.  [There ARE exceptions, but this is the rule.]

You can say, "She didn't have A book with her."

EXAMPLES:

Do you have ANY bananas?

The teacher did not give ANY homework assignments.

Here's an example of the "exception" --

Do you have ANY IDEA how to solve this problem?

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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