Some and any

English grammar (See all)

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Some and any

•  In negative constructions ANY demonstrates ignorance and is used in questions in which it is not known, nor supposed what the answer will be:
Do you need any money? Do you need money? (I don't know if you need money or not)
Do you have any brothers or sisters? Do you have brothers or sisters? (I don't know if you do)

•  SOME: a few; an amount, number or part of something:
Some water, some bread, some wine... A quantity of water, a bit of bread, a small amount of wine... (uncountable, singular)
Some people, some children, some animals... A few people, several children, a small number of animals... (countable, plural)
Some of you will be sent to the doctor. A few of you will be sent to the doctor.

•  ANY: no matter what/which; all:
Any attempt to escape will be punished severely. All attempts to escape will be punished severely.
As a boy, Kevin would take any job to make money. When he was a boy, Kevin would accept whichever job he could to make money.

•  ANY is used in negative constructions and questions and has the same usage as NO, and an opposite meaning to SOME. However, note that the relation between SOME and ANY is very fragile and that the difference between the two is very subtle:
I have some chocolate if you're interested. I have a little bit of chocolate if you're interested.
I don't want any, thank you. I don't want any of your chocolate, thank you.

He has no shame. or He doesn't have any shame. He never gets embarrassed.

Would you like some coffee? Would you like a coffee?
Would you like any coffee? Would you like a coffee?

•  SOME is used in affirmative constructions and very rarely in negative constructions. ANY is used in negative constructions, questions and very rarely in affirmative constructions:
Did you hear? There are some lions at the zoo! Did you hear? There are a few lions at the zoo!

It's a shame. There aren't any lions at the zoo. It's a shame. There are no lions at the zoo.

Note :
•  In questions, SOME usually expresses a desire or a wish. It is also used when the person wants to know about the presence of a thing or person, and when they presume to know what the answer will be:
Do you need some money? Do you need money? (I am supposing that you do need money.)
Do you have some advice for me? Do you have a piece of advice for me? (I am expecting that you do have some advice for me)


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