Hi there, I have provided some sentences below. What's the difference between "if a" and "if any" in the sentences. I think all of them are correct and mean the same thing. I don't know what the difference is. I always use them interchangeably in this kind of context. Can someone please tell me how I should choose the correct word?

1- If a/any student is found smoking in the classroom, he or she will be suspended from the school.

2- As per the new tax law, If a/any house is situated in a metropolitan city, 15 percent tax will be charged on the value of 'it'.


If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. Smile
Original Post
Hi, Subhajit,

Sentence (1) is fine with either "a" or "any," the only difference being that "any" is more emphatic.

I don't think (2) is a good sentence for several reasons:

- "metropolitan city" is not a good collocation. We can say things like "metropolitan area" or "big city," but "metropolitan city" is clearly redundant.
- You should say "a 15 percent tax."
- I think "its value" is the normal phrase.

And, last but not least, that sentence does not sound right with "any" because that would suggest an unlikely situation, and we all know that that there are thousands of houses in big cities.

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