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I think all the following expressions are communicable in every day English, but I want to know which one is not grammatical - especially (A) and (B) - or idiomatic and the nuances of them. Thanks in advance.

  • (A) Unless there are seats on the airplane, I will take a bus.
  • (B) Unless there are airplane seats, I will take a bus.
  • (C) Unless there is any seat on the airplane, I will take a bus.
  • (D) If there are no seats on the airplane, I will take a bus.
  • (E) If there aren't any seats on the airplane, I will take a bus.
  • (F) If there isn't any seat on the airplane, I will take a bus.
  • (G) Unless there are any seats on the airplane, I will take a bus.
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  • I think all are valid, except that in C and F we would say a seat rather than any. Nov 22, 2022 at 9:26
  • For me, A, D, E, and G are fine, and with varied meanings. In B, “airplane seat” sounds like what a subcontractor would manufacture for Boeing, a variety of seat. As for C and F, sound a bit off because of the singular with any. Apr 30, 2023 at 23:56

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All are fine except (C) and (G). The trick with "unless" is to determine if the subordinate clause that follows it makes sense. In the case of (C) and (G) the clauses are meaningless. (e.g. "there is any seat on the airplane") You used "any" correctly in your other examples.

As far what would be the best choice for an American English speaking audience, I would go with D. It is the most concise version in my opinion.

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