Do/ Does any of you... ?

Macunaíma

Senior Member
português, Brasil
Last week a group of young Chinese immigrants who'd only just arrived in Brazil and couldn't speak Portuguese yet went to the bank where I work in order to open an account. As the attendant who was helping them didn't know what to do, she signalled at me and I went over to try to help. Realising that none of them spoke Portuguese I asked them whether any of them could speak English so that I could help. I put the question like this:

"Does any of you speak English?"

When I addressed them with this question I didn't know how many of them could speak English, it might have been one or more than one -there were four of them altogether.

What I want to know is whether I phrased my question right or wrong, because I'm feeling a little bit uncomfortable with it.

Let me put it more clearly:

Which is the correct form to ask that question if I don't have in mind the number of people who will respond? Does any of you... or Do any of you...?

Is the alternative Does any one of you... correct if I assume that only one of them speaks English?

I know this seems petty, but it's really been nagging away at me.

Thanks a lot for your replies

Macunaíma
 
  • cruxcriticorum

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Hi Macunaíma.

    Do any of you speak English. :tick:
    Does any of you speak English. :cross:

    You can also ask "Does anyone here speak English?" but that probably doesn't convey the meaning you intend.
     

    Macunaíma

    Senior Member
    português, Brasil
    You can also ask "Does anyone here speak English?" but that probably doesn't convey the meaning you intend.

    That's probably where my confusion stems from :).

    Thank you for your prompt reply Cruxcriticorum, but what do you think about my last question. Would "Does any one of you" sound strange if I expected only one positive answer?

    Consider the following situation: I have only two tickets for a concert and I ask a group of friends if any of them would be willing to go. Only one may go, as I only have one spare ticket. How should I ask them:

    Does any one of you want to come? or
    Do any of you want to come?

    .
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think I would ask "Do any of you ...". I might justify that by suggesting that I assume more than one of you will speak English.

    It would be very strange to ask, "Does any one of you ..." in any context.
    "Does anyone want to ..." - suggests that you could all come if you want.
    "Do any of you want to ..." - may be more restrictive.
     

    cruxcriticorum

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Hi again Macunaíma.

    "Any" can be either singular or plural in construction. Thus, "Does any of you speak English" is grammatically correct, but is likely to sound strange to a native English speaker because it is far more common to use "Do any...."

    If you add "one" as in "Does any one of you speak English" or "Does any one of you want to come," you have clarified your subject as singular. In this case, you must use "does". It would be more natural, however, to omit the "any" and say "Does one of you want to come?" because your example may sound to the ear like "Does anyone of you want to come," which is incorrect. "Do any of you want to come?" is also fine. Just make sure to tell them you only have one ticket. ;)

    This might help you remember when to use do and when to use does.

    Do I... ?
    Do you... ?
    Does he/she/it... ?
    Do we... ?
    Do they... ?
     

    Judica

    Senior Member
    AE (US), Spanish (LatAm)
    That's probably where my confusion stems from :).

    Thank you for your prompt reply Cruxcriticorum, but what do you think about my last question. Would "Does any one of you" sound strange if I expected only one positive answer?

    Consider the following situation: I have only two tickets for a concert and I ask a group of friends if any of them would be willing to go. Only one may go, as I only have one spare ticket. How should I ask them:

    Does any one of you want to come? or
    Do any of you want to come?

    .

    I think your confusion is coming from the difference between:

    "any one" and "anyone". These do not have the same meaning.

    In fact the question that is being asked for a single person reply would require: Does any one ... not ... Does anyone.

    Does any one of you .... is correct for your question. It may sound funny but it is the singular that you are emphasizing.
     

    Macunaíma

    Senior Member
    português, Brasil
    "Does one of you...", without any, as Cruxcriticorum suggests, seems to be the best choice when only one person is expected to answer positively, or perhaps "Does any one of you..." stressing the word one when asking the question.

    As far as my doubt is concerned, that's settled it! Thank you all for your help!

    Macunaíma
     
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