Some / Any

Refer to an indefinite quantity or number

snackssnacks
 

 

 

SOME

Use some with a count or noncount noun to indicate an indefinite quantity.

A POSITIVE SENTENCE

Some food is in the refrigerator.  (noncount)

Some grapes are in the refrigerator.  (count)

Is some food in the refrigerator?   (noncount)

Are some grapes in the refrigerator?    (count)

 

ANY

Use any after a negative verb or an expression of doubt.  Any cannot be used at the beginning of the sentence.

A NEGATIVE SENTENCE

*Any milk is in the refrigerator.

There isn't any milk in the refrigerator. (NC)

I doubt (that) any milk is in the refrigerator. (NC)

There aren't any snacks in the refrigerator. (C)

Are there any snacks in the refrigerator? (C)

 

noncount noun (NC) / count noun (C)    See count / noncount for details.

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

Any

Expressing Doubt

tea
 

 

Negatives and Doubt Expressions

NEGATIVE  WORDS

Use any after negative words (determiners and adverbs).

I  have no tea. (negative determiner)

I do not have any tea.

Not one of shops has any tea.

That shop seldom has any tea.  (negative adverb)

That shop rarely has any tea.  

That shop hardly ever has any tea.  

That shop never has any tea.    

DOUBT EXPRESSIONS

Use any after a that-clause with an expression of doubt.   (I doubt that…)

I doubt that there is any tea here.   

I don't think that any tea is left

It's unlikely that any tea is left.  

I can hardly believe that any tea is left.

He's uncertain that anything can be done.

There's little point in asking for *any more.

 

 

*any more (n.) – an additional amount; not anymore (adv)– no longer;  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some vs. Any

Interpreting an Offer / Request

coffee espresso
 

 

A Question with Some vs. Any

SOME

When some is used when making an offer, the offer is more convincing or sincere.

CONFIDENT OFFER

Would you like some coffee?    (I already have some coffee made. / I don't mind making more. / I'm about to make some and have a sufficient amount for you.)

Would you like some more coffee?    

CONFIDENT REQUEST

May I have some more sugar, please? (Speaker is confident there is sugar) 

ANY

When using any in a question, the person offering is doubtful or hesitant: the expected answer is "no".

DOUBTFUL OFFER

Would you like any coffee  (You probably have already had some. / You probably don't.)

Would you like any more coffee(You probably don't / I hope you don't because I don't have any more.) 

DOUBTFUL REQUEST

Is there any more sugar? (Speaker is doubtful there is sugar.) 

 

 

 

pie

 

 

An Offer You Can Refuse

A "SOME" OFFER

When an offer is made using "some", the speaker is thinking or hoping you will answer – "yes".  It is a sincere offer.

ACCEPT THIS OFFER

JANE:   Would you like some pie?

ANNE:   Yes, please.  / No, thank you.

JANE:   Are you sure you wouldn't like some pie? 
            (The host may repeat the offer if the answer was "no".)

ANNE:  Yes, please.  (or) No, thank you.

AN "ANY" OFFER

When an offer is made using "any", the speaker is thinking (possibly hoping) you will answer  – "no".  It is an offer that needs to be repeated twice to be sincere.

DECLINE THIS OFFER

JACK:  Would you like any pie?  (I think you might not.)

DAVE:   No, thank you. / Perhaps, later. (A guest is more likely to answer "no".)

JACK:  Are you sure you wouldn't like some pie? I have plenty.
            (If there is a second offer, then it is sincere.)

DAVE:  Well, on second thought.  I would like a piece. Thank you.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some / Any

With a Noun

 

 

Some + Noun /Any + Noun

SOME + Singular Noun

Some + a singular noun may be an  indefinite pronoun, a quantifier + a noun, or an adverb.  (See examples in the next table.)

somebody

something

some day (two words)

sometime

some more  (two words)

some way (two words)

someone

somewhere

ANY + Singular Noun

Any + a singular noun may be an  indefinite pronoun, a quantifier + a noun, or an adverb. . We use any

anybody

anything

any day  (two words)

any time (two words)

any more (two words)

any way  (two words)

anyone

anywhere (any place)

 

See Indefinite Pronouns 

 

 

 

Easily Confused

INDEFINITE PRONOUN QUANTIFIER + NOUN ADVERB

An unknown noun…

A quantity…  (allows the insertion of an adjective)

Frequency, manner, stance

Anyone can come with us.  (an unlimited number of persons)

Any (clever) one can come with us.  (an unspecified person)

 

You can come with us sometime in the future.  "at an indefinite or unstated time in the future"

The trip will take some (long) time. (a period of time)

You can come with us sometimes(occasionally, now and then)

 

You can't have any more¹.

You can't come with us anymore. (no longer)

You created something beautiful. (unknown)

You created some (beautiful) things

 

 

You go any (particular) way you want.  (choose one way)

You an go anyway even if you aren't supposed to. (regardless, contrary to expectation)
You an go anyhow.  informal

 

Some (unknown) way will take you there. 

We'll get there someway(in some manner)
We'll get there somehowinformal

Anywhere is better than here.

 

Any (other) place is better than here.

Is it anywhere near the correct number?

anymore — ¹I want more. (n.) / I want more (adj.) cookies.
Other expressions —He is something of a gourmet. Something strange is happening. (something + adjective)

(Garner 53 anymore)

 

 

Some

A Vague One

knocking on door

 

 

 

An Unknown Quantity vs. A Vague Noun

AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY

We use some + plural noun to talk about an unspecific quantity. "We don't know how many or how much."

Some people are knocking at the door.  (I don't know how many.)

He is talking about some political causes.

She is dating some guys

They left some cheese in the refrigerator.  (I don't know how much.)

AN UNKNOWN NOUN  (A VAGUE ONE)

We use some + singular noun for an unknown person or thing that we don't want to specify, or we wish to be vague.   "We don't want t) say which one."

Some person is knocking at the door.   (an unknown person; I don't know who it is.)

He is talking about some political cause.  ( an unknown cause; I don't know what it is.)

Lady GaGa is dating some guy. (I know the guy, but I don't want to name him.)  

They left some cheese in the refrigerator. (I don't know what kind it is.)  

 

be vague (adj.) – be unclear or not giving detailed information on purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*For some reasons, I lost the tennis match. 

*My keys are some wheres here.

We haven't had some rain for quite a while. 
(The use of some or any depends on how much.)

Not anybody would wear that!
(This can be understood as "not everyone", only a "special one".)

SOLUTION

For some reason, I lost the tennis match.   Use some reason – indefinite.

My keys are here some where.    Write some where as two words.

We haven't had some rain.  (a little)
We haven't had any rain.  (none)

Nobody would wear that!  (no one at all)
Not just anybody would wear that!   (only a special, particular person)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

A Box of Chocolates

chocolates
 

 

Decide whether the sentence needs the quantifier some, any or no article.

  1. Select the word from each menu that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or "check 1-10 button. 

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Flash Mob

flash mob dancers
 

 

Read for Errors

Some thing is happening this weekend.  Someone told us to expect some big thing.  Somewhere in our city will be a flash mob. It is expected to form some times around noon. Some music will begin playing and someone will start to dance. Other people will join in the dancing someplace in the background. 

Anyone can join in the dancing even if they don't know the dance steps.  The grand finale will include anywheres between eighty and one hundred participants.  One by one, the dancers will leave until there isn't someone on the floor.  And anybody will pick up the boom box and walk away quietly as if nothing happened.

 

 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select the option that best describes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

11.
Some thing is happening this weekend.
   

12.
Someone told us to expect some big thing.
   

13.
Somewhere in our city will be a flash mob. 
   

14.
It is expected to form some times around noon.
   

15.
Some music will begin playing and someone will start to dance.
   

16.
Other people will join in the dancing someplace in the background.
   

17.
Anyone can join  in the dancing even if they don't know the dance steps.
   

18.
The grand finale will include anywheres between eighty and one hundred participants.
   

19.
One by one, the dancers will leave until there isn't someone on the floor.
   

20.
And anybody will pick up the boom box and walk away quietly as if nothing happened.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

A Vague One

politician
 

 

Read for Errors

Someguy is claiming that he can fix the economy.  He has some plan that is supposed to improve everything.  For some reasons, people believe him. He is tall and handsome, but has any charisma.  Yet so far he hasn't given some details about some of his policies. 

He needs to reveal somethings about his ideas. Nobody wants to vote for somebody with no plan. He has a way to go before someone can consider him seriously.

charisma (n.) – a personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people; attractiveness

has a way to go (expression) – requires more work for progress; "has a long road ahead"

reveal (v.) –  make known, disclose, show to the public

vague (adj.) –indefinite or indistinct in nature or character; not clearly or explicitly stated or expressed: vague promises.  unclear promises

 

 

 

 

Edit for errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

21.
Someguy is claiming that he can fix the economy.


22.
He has some plan that is supposed to improve everything.


23.
For some reasons, people believe him.


24.
He is tall and handsome, but has not any charisma.


25.
Yet so far he hasn't given some details about his policies.


26.
He needs to reveal somethings about his ideas.


27.
Nobody wants to vote for somebody with no plan.


28.
He has a way to go before someone can consider him seriously.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Index  Grammar-Quizzes   Previous  Quantity Phrases   Next Much / Many

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Sevastopoulos — ESL / EFL / TEFL – English Grammar Reference / Resource — Practices & Exercises — Palo Alto, California USA —