Using are there or is there – when quantity is uncertain
Let’s just say Tom doesn’t know there are 4 apples in the box
Tom: is there any apple in the box?
Peter: There are 4 apples in the box.
*wouldn’t Tom sentence be wrong since he used “is”. But at the same time he doesn’t know how many apples are in the box when he asked. So there is no way he knows whether he should ask the question starting is or are.
If we change the scenario a little bit
Let’s just say the box has 1 apple
Tom: are there any apples in the box?
Peter: There is 1 apple in the box.
Same theory apply as above.
My question if I ask a question and I am not certain of the quantity do I use is there or are there.
In addition if using "is there" and "are there" are both correct. what is the difference between
is there any apple in the box? and are there any apples in the box?