One of my colleagues recently came upon a grammar rule about conditional sentences. It is in NEW HEADWAY INTERMEDIATE, Student’s Book. The rule says:
“We generally use ANY after if.”
Two examples are given straight after the rule:
- If you need anything, just ask.
- If something is a hundred years old, that’s pretty old.
Now, being a teacher myself, I must admit it confused me a little bit because one of the examples does not follow the rule. According to that rule, the second example should be “If anything is…” and it sounds wrong to me. Which is more, according to other standard rules the first one could also be “If you need something…”
Perhaps a native speaker can give us an explanation because we couldn’t find such in the grammar books.
Thanks a lot!