Dear friends,
I'd like to use the similar expression like in any case , at any point, on any account. So could I use under/in any circumstance? or circumstance is a special word, that under/in any circumstances is commonly used?

Original Post

Hi, Ivana, and welcome to Grammar Exchange,

@Ivana posted:

Dear friends,
I'd like to use the similar expression like in any case , at any point, on any account. So

You can also use 'At all events'.

@Ivana posted:

Dear friends,
So could I use under/in any circumstance? or circumstance is a special word, that under/in any circumstances is commonly used?

I don't understand this second part of your question, so I hope the following information might help. 'Under any circumstances' is frequently used. 'In any circumstances' is also correct, but it is British English. In either case, 'circumstances' is a plural noun. If you begin with 'under no circumstances', you will have to use an inversion.

- Under no circumstances, should you approach the man. (Cambridge dictionary)

 

Thank you so much for your reply.I'm sorry I didn't make my question clearly. Actually, I'm confused with plural noun after any when the word any means any single one. For example, 'in any case','at any point'. (single noun after any), however 'Under any circumstances' (plural noun after any). So could I understand there is nothing to do with grammer, 'Under any circumstances' is commonly used, 'Under any circumstance' is not used?

@ahmed_btm posted:

 - Under no circumstances, should you approach the man. (Cambridge dictionary)

I'm sure that comma is a typo, Ahmed. I wouldn't use it and, as a matter of fact, the dictionary you quoted does not include it (https://dictionary.cambridge.o...nglish/circumstances)

@Ivana posted:

Actually, I'm confused with plural noun after any when the word any means any single one. For example, 'in any case','at any point'. (single noun after any), however 'Under any circumstances' (plural noun after any). So could I understand there is nothing to do with grammer, 'Under any circumstances' is commonly used, 'Under any circumstance' is not used?

Hi, Ivana,

Generally speaking, the determiners "any" and "no" can be followed by singular or plural nouns, depending on the type of noun and the meaning that needs to be conveyed.

However, the linkers you mention are set expressions, and while some will take a singular noun (in any/no case, at any rate), others will take a plural one (under any/no circumstances).

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor
@Ivana posted:

Thank you so much for your reply.I'm sorry I didn't make my question clearly. Actually, I'm confused with plural noun after any when the word any means any single one. For example, 'in any case','at any point'. (single noun after any), however 'Under any circumstances' (plural noun after any). So could I understand there is nothing to do with grammar, 'Under any circumstances' is commonly used, 'Under any circumstance' is not used?

I can't say that 'grammar' has no rule here. 'Grammar' has talked about 'any' when it means 'it doesn't matter'. Swan, page (47) says that 'any' can be used to emphasize the idea of free choice, with the meaning of 'it doesn't matter who/which/what'. It is often used with singular countable nouns as well as uncountables and plurals. In speech, it is stressed.
- Ask any doctor - they'll all tell you that alcohol is a poison.
- When shall I come?-Any time.

Choosing a singular or a plural noun after any here depends on what you choose to say. Is it a fixed expression or something common or something that suits the situation? For example, 'under any circumstance' is actually used, but not as common as 'under any circumstances'. COCA has many examples using it and Collins dictionary has actually mentioned 'Under any circumstance/circumstances', but, used 'under any circumstances' in all its examples. 'LDOCE' says that 'circumstances' is usually plural in this case.

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