Hi there, Is it grammatically necessary to use any in the following sentence? Can I omit any in exams and formal writings in similar sentences and contexts?


Yesterday was mothers' day but I did not post (any) photos with my mother on social media. I think importance of my mother to my life cannot be described by just clicking pictures or posting them on social sites on mother's day.
Original Post
Hi, Subhajit123,

quote:
Is it grammatically necessary to use any in the following sentence? Can I omit any in exams and formal writings in similar sentences and contexts?


When you use 'any' before a plural or an uncountable noun, the focus is on its amount or number. Thus, when you say:
a) I didn't post any photos. (The focus is on the number of photos).
b) I didn't post photos. (The focus here is on the existence of photos,i.e. you didn't post photos, but you may have posted other things).

Michael Swan 3rd edition, page (47):
quote:
With an uncountable or plural noun, any usually suggests the idea of an
indefinite amount or indefinite number.


- Rephrasing:
quote:
Yesterday was Mother's Day, but I did not post any photos of my mother on social media. I think my mother's position / role in my life cannot be described by just clicking pictures or posting them on social sites on a certain day.
Hi, Subhajit,

I fully agree with Ahmed_btm's application of Swan here. Your sentence "I did not post (any) photos with of my mother" on social media is perfectly correct with or without "any."

As Ahmed says, the presence or absence of "any" changes the focus. That "any" focuses on the absence of any amount may be seen by considering that "any" is often used in replies to questions of amount.
    A: Yesterday was Mother's Day.
    B: Oh. Did you post photos of your mother on social media?
    A: No. I didn't feel like it.
    B: Not even one photo?
    A: No. I didn't post any photos of her on social media yesterday.

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