1. I don't have any children.

  2. I don't have a child.

What are the differences between them?

Are there any circumstances that make them noninterchangeable??

  • Note that child has multiple senses. In different contexts, any children could mean any sons or daughters and a child could mean a son or daughter less than eighteen years old. – Jason Bassford Nov 10 '18 at 16:45
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    Also, in a certain semantic context (say you are entering a place where only one child is allowed to accompany an adult), one or the other might be a more appropriate expression. – Jason Bassford Nov 10 '18 at 16:47

There is no difference in meaning here. "Any children" means "one or more children", whereas "a child" means "one child".


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    Are they interchangeable in any of circumstances? – hbtpoprock Nov 10 '18 at 11:38
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    If either a definite singular or plural sense is required, you could use 'a' for the singular and 'any' for the plural, so you might use "I don't have a child" to correct someone who says e.g. "This gift is for your child", and "I don't have any children" to reply to "These gifts are for your children". – Michael Harvey Nov 10 '18 at 12:22

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