One of the English language grammar areas that often causes confusion is about how to use “some” and “any” correctly in English.
Some and any have the same meaning:
They both refer to a quantity that is more than one but the exact quantityis not important.
- This means that countable nouns will always be in the plural form or
- we use an uncountable noun.
Example: Are there any more chairs?
There are some chairs in the classroom.
Generally we can say that:
“Some” is used in affirmative sentences and
“Any” is used in negative sentences and in questions
But be CAREFUL!
– The word “some” is NOT affirmative and
– the word “any” is NOT negative.
Some is used with affirmative verb forms:
John has some new shoes
Any is used with negative verb forms can’t, don’t, didn’t, haven’t, wouldn’t etc:
- I can’t find anywhere to park my car
- Juan hasn’t got any brothers
EXCEPTIONS to basic rules:
If the function of a question is to offer or demand something, we can use some rather than any.
- Would you like some coffee?
- Could you give me some help with my homework, please?
It is also possible to use any in affirmative sentences with the sense of an unlimited quantity:
Some however, is used in a more limited sense:
For an extended version of this article go to: Some or Any?