Hi there, are the following sentences correct? As an English speaker which one would you prefer? I admit I have asked many questions regarding any. Still I have some doubts.

  1. If any student is interested in joining the programme, he or she is requested to contact the authority.
  2. If any students are interested in joining the programme, they are requested to contact the authority.
  3. Any student interested in joining the programme is requested to contact the authority.
  4. Any students interested in joining the programme are requested to contact the authority.

 

I have noticed that any can be used with both singular and plural nouns. But when any is used with if and in questions like the avove, should I use a plural noun or a singular noun?  

Please confirm as an English speaker or as an English teacher which one you would prefer.

Original Post
subhajit123 posted:
  1. If any student is interested in joining the programme, he or she is requested to contact the authority.
  2. If any students are interested in joining the programme, they are requested to contact the authority.
  3. Any student interested in joining the programme is requested to contact the authority.
  4. Any students interested in joining the programme are requested to contact the authority.

Hi, Subhajit,

While all four sentences are correct, I strongly prefer (3) and (4). The "if"-clauses of the first two sentences could easily be used in a context in which the "if"-clauses are not defining who is requested to contact the authority -- for example:

1a. If any student is interested in joining the program, please let us know.
2a. If any students are interested in joining the program, they are welcome to.

Between (3) and (4), I prefer (3). With (3), there is the sense that there will probably only be only one or two students who are interested in joining. If more students were expected to be interested, I'd use (4) without "any":

(5) Students (who are) interested in joining the program are requested to contact the authority.

If students are the intended audienceof this sentence, then it would be good to use (1) or (2) with the second person rather than the third person. In that case, "any" would not be used, and an imperative would work well in the main clause:

(6) If you are interested in joining the program, please contact us.

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