Maybe from this English - French difference in how zero is treated, we can say that neither language uses both "singular" vs. "plural" as grammatical categories. Instead: 1. English has "singular" and "non-singular" [+/- singular]: since "zero" and "plural" are both "non-singular," they receive the same treatment. 2. French has "plural" and "non-plural" [+/- plural]: since both "singular" and "zero" are "non-plural," they receive the same treatment. >> It comes down to choosing which number concept is primary, and making a binary opposition on one of these.
Aucun (as a positive) is simply "any" or, in the negative form (ne...aucun), "none" (or "not any"). http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/aucun/645590
It is correct but Duo often will mark English sentences containing contractions wrong. I believe it stems from the fact that French has many contractions which are mandatory, while contractions in English are never mandatory but simply convey a more informal register. To avoid unnecessary loss of hearts, I generally avoid contractions in English sentences here.
Did not accept "She does not have any brother" with the remark, that 'brother' should be plural. This is not correct, you can easily think of a context where my sentence would have worked. ("Where is her brother?" - "Her brother? She does not have any brother.") Reported sentence
You can indeed have only one brother! You can also have none or you can have many.
If you're disowning your only brother, you can use the singular (in English). Otherwise you'd use the plural. In French, if I remember correctly, "aucun(e)" always takes the singular, but "pas de" can use either singular or plural.
Would be nice to understand why it is pronounced like that. Either I have heard this sentence so often before or it is standard way of prounouncing and it appears in other exercises "Elle n'a..." and presumably "Il n'a..." do not so far as I am aware include a "k" sound. So why does it appear? It makes interpreting/translating the sentence guess work.
We only use the singular after "any" for uncountable nouns such as "meat". "She doesn't have any meat" is OK, "She doesn't have any brother" implies it's a slice of brother.
- She doesn't have a brother
- She has no brother
- She has no brothers
- She doesn't have brothers
- She doesn't have any brothers
It's not a rule per se. There are about 16 words (mostly ending with a non-silent « e »: « me », « que », etc.) that always get elided before another vowel, and there are certain inversions that get a euphonic « -t- » (« a-t-il », « a-t-elle », etc.), but otherwise, two vowels can indeed be said sequentially.