Quantifiers : “Some” and “Any”

1st Part
Countable VS Uncountable

2nd Part
“Each” and “Every”

3rd Part
“Some” and “Any”

Grammar in use

  • Topic : “Some” and “Any”
  • Skills : Grammar


When do we use “some”? When do we use “any”?

Did you buy any butter?

I would like some of these raspberries.

The quantifiers ‘some’ and ‘any’ are used with plural countable nouns or singular uncountable nouns.

Here is the difference

SomePositive sentences:
There is some milk in the fridge.
AnyNegative sentences:
There is not any milk in the fridge.
Is there any milk in the fridge?

We can use ‘some’ in questions when we offer or ask for something that is there.

Would you like some water? (I offer water, there is water)
Can I have some water please? (I ask for water, there is water)
Do you have any juice? (I ask for juice, I don’t know if there is juice)

We use words such as ‘somebody’, ‘something’ like ‘some’: in positive sentences.
We use words such as ‘anybody’, ‘anything’like ‘any’: in negative sentences and questions.

Somebody is coming.
I cannot find my watch anywhere.
Is there anything I can do for you?

When we use “any” in a negative sentence, it is also possible to use “no” in a positive sentence. It is the same for compounds of “any”, such as “anything”, “anybody”, etc.

There is not any cheese left. – There is no cheese left.
She does not do anything at work. – She does nothing at work. I can’t see anybody. – I can see nobody.

Language Tip about “some” and “any”

With singular countable nouns, ‘some’ and ‘any’ have a different use and meaning. They refer to something general. In this case, ‘any’ can be used in a positive sentence.

I spoke to some bank employee. = I spoke to a bank employee, I do not know this employee.
Any doctor will tell you that. = All doctors will tell you that.

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