Any is a determiner. It suggests an indefinite quantity or number. It is used when it is not important to say how much/many we are thinking of.
- Is there any water in the bottle?
- Have you got any friends?
- Have they got any children?
Any is often used in questions and negative clauses, and in other cases where there is an idea of doubt or negation.
- Are there any witnesses?
- Do you need any help?
- I haven’t got any money.
- I have hardly any food in the larder.
- You never give me any help.
Any is also common after if.
- If you need any help, let me know.
Any, no, not any
Note that any alone does not have a negative meaning. It is negative only when it is used with not.
- See that you don’t do any damage. (NOT See that you do any damage.)
No means the same as not any, but is more emphatic.
- He has got no friends. (More emphatic than He hasn’t got any friends.)
Any and Any of
Before a pronoun or a noun with a determiner (the, this, my, your etc.) we use any of.
- Do any of these books belong to you?
- I don’t think any of us want to work tomorrow.
- She doesn’t like any of my friends.
Note that when any of is followed by a plural subject, the verb can be singular or plural.
- If any of your friends is interested, let us know. (formal)
- If any of your friends are interested, let us know. (informal)
Any with singular countable nouns
Any is the plural equivalent of a/an. It is often used before plural and uncountable nouns.
- They recently bought a new car.
- Have they got any cars?
But note that any can be used before a singular countable noun with the meaning of it doesn’t matter who/which/what.
- Can you recite any poem by heart?
- Do you know any cardiologist here?
With this meaning any is common in affirmative clauses as well.
- Come any day you like.
- There is some risk in any project.