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In some English text it is said that we should use a singular verb in the following example:

  • Any of the computers needs updating.

However, it is said that in the following examples we should use plural verbs:

  • Do any of the computers need updating?
  • Not any of the computers need updating.

I wonder why we use the verb (need) with different number in the above examples while in all of them the verbs follow the same phrase "any of the computers"?

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  • Please improve your question. "Any of the computers needs updating" makes no sense, but it is the basis of your question. It sounds as if it might be part of a longer sentence. If it is, please post the rest. Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 15:20
  • "In some English text it is said...." Whenever you are referencing a source you must (1) cite the source (tell us the name of the English text)" and (2) Quote the full explanation from the source. Your example "Any of the computers needs updating." is ungrammatical and no good English text would give this example in this form.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:20
  • I've just been through some of your past questions and you quote "some book" quite often. Lots of the examples you quote from this unknown book are wrong. So please put the book in the bin and find a better book.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 16:27
  • @JamesK Why is that sentence ungrammatical?
    – Later
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 7:11

1 Answer 1

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We do this with all sorts of verbs.

I get hungry often

He gets hungry often

They get hungry often

Usually we conjugate verbs with singular subjects with an s.

So:

One of the computers needs updating

All of the computers need updating

None of the computers need updating

Note: "Any of the computers needs updating" sounds very awkward. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Also, "not any" is almost always replaced with "none".

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  • Thanks for your answer. Can you please explain why we have to use plural verbs in "Do any of the computers need updating?" and "Not any of the computers need updating." ?
    – Later
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 7:21
  • You're not using "plural verbs" here, they don't have a s.
    – Riolku
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 14:42

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