0

I wrote:

Treebanks may be developed based on any linguistic grammar or for any specific application.

Instead of "any specific application" should I use "for a specific application"? what is the difference?

As another example:

  • I may use a spoon for a specific purpose
  • I may use a spoon for any specific purpose
  • I may use a spoon for any purpose
1

Let's explain the meaning of both variants (a and any) and try to reach a conclusion.

Any specific application

This means that, of a large list of specific applications, any specific application may be selected. In context, this means that treebanks can be be used on an arbitrary, but specific, application. The author clearly does not want to indicate exactly which applications treebanks may be used for, and leaves this up to the imagination of the reader.

A specific application

This means that, of a large list of specific applications, one (or maybe a few) applications may be selected. In context, this means that treebanks can be used on a specific application that are explicitly known. You would expect that the author will elaborate in the next sentence as to what applications he was thinking of.

So, to conclude, any means that the specific applications are not well-defined, and the author feels that there is no need for this either; a means that the author has some (or one) specific applications in mind, and will likely elaborate or assumes the reader is aware of which applications treebanks can be used for.

|improve this answer|||||
  • As I used may, I think any suits more to my sentence, I also added another example – Ahmad Oct 18 '15 at 22:09
  • 1
    I would too - I forgot to include that in my answer. As for the spoons (finishing your sentences): 1: ...namely, eating tomato soup. 2. ...for example, for eating tomato soup, carving am orange pumpkin, you name it! 3 ...for example, eating or cooking. – Sanchises Oct 18 '15 at 22:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.