a. Anyone with a criminal record cannot apply for this job.

b. Anybody who is Tom's friend cannot be trusted.

Are the above sentences grammatical and meaningful?

I tend to use 'nobody who... can...' in these situations, but I think (a) and (b) are correct as well. Just had a nagging doubt.

1 Answer 1


I would make a couple of changes to your first example:

  1. Use should instead of can.

There's nothing to stop a person with a criminal record from applying for the job, so that person can apply for the job, but shouldn't because they will be automatically disqualified.

  1. Use someone/somebody instead of anyone/anybody.

This is debatable, but since the unspecified person has a criminal record, it's more specific than just anybody. So:

Someone with a criminal record should not apply for this job.

Your second example is fine. I personally would say "Anyone," but you could use anybody, anyone, somebody or someone.

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