Learn English – say “I’m glad I was of any help”?


I received an e-mail from a person thanking me for my help when I had traveled to Germany. I would like to start my answer with the following phrase. Is it correct?

I'm glad I was of any help!

I do not need to be extremely formal, that's why I put the exclamation mark.

Best Answer

No, you can't say that, because in such contexts any is a negative polarity item.

1: I don't have any money
2: I have some money
3: ? I don't have some money (very unlikely)
4: * I have any money (not valid)

Thus OP could reasonably say "I'm sorry I was not of any help", with explicit negation. Or more subtly, by introducing a conditional element "I'm glad if I was of any help". Note that although the negative polarity doesn't seem to be so "absolute" in conditional contexts, many native speakers would say "I'm glad if I was of some help" in that last example.

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