I got this question on Facebook:

Complete the sentence and you may know that two options are correct

We did not notice any student ______ the hall of the exam.
A. leave
B. leaves
C. will leave
D. leaving

I suggest only D is suitable or "left" which it is not mentioned, what do you say?


2 Answers 2


A and D are both perfectly acceptable to native speakers of American English.

If you want to use "left" you need to add "that": "We did not notice that any student left.. "

However, you will hear native speakers elide "that", leaving it to the listener to fill it in implicitly.


D is correct.

We did not notice any student leave the hall of the exam.

This doesn't make sense. "Any" is used in negative sentences (or sentences which are questions), and only then for plurals or uncountable nouns. "Student" is neither of those things; D is the only correct answer, and the advice in the first sentence is wrong.

  • 4
    poppycock. it is totally idiomatic to say " we did not notice any student ..."
    – mobileink
    Jun 29, 2017 at 23:50
  • I agree with you Joseph but why two answers I hear. Is not there a standard solution in English grammar? Still there are different views and this will confuse people more. Jun 30, 2017 at 5:54
  • To me it would sound more natural with the plural "students".
    – Barmar
    Jun 30, 2017 at 14:42
  • I've never heard the phrase "we did not notice any student..." (or anything like it). It also isn't a grammatically correct usage of the word "any". That being said, I am a British English speaker, so maybe that's why I haven't heard the phrase.
    – joseph
    Jun 30, 2017 at 19:26
  • 1
    Joseph I'm I'm sorry to point out that you're mistaken and that does make perfect sense. If you really think it doesn't then please, explain why not… Jun 30, 2017 at 21:06

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