Some and any

some and any

Does somebody have any questions?

Can you explain why that sounds wrong? After reading this post, you will definitely be able to! You will be able to know when to use some and any correctly.

Very basically, we use some in positive statements and any in negative statements. We use both some and any with questions. Though there are always variations on this basic rule of thumb.

Grammar point – some and any

  • Use some/somebody/someone/something when we think the person or thing exists and in positive statements.

Examples:

I think somebody is at the door – I heard footsteps.

Something isn’t right, I can feel it. (note the exception to the rule that any should be used with negatives)

Did you lose something? (I think you did because you’re looking around)

Could I have something to eat?

  • Use any/anybody/anyone/anything when we don’t know if the person or thing exists and in negative statements. Also use any when the meaning of the sentence is negative with words like never, without, hardly, rarely, etc.

Examples:

I don’t think anybody is at the door – I didn’t hear anything.

Do you have anything to eat? (I have no idea if you have anything)

I’ve never thought of anyone else.

He refused to tell me anything. (refused has a negative meaning)

  • We also use any in if statements and questions, or when if is implied in the statement or question.

Examples:

Does anyone have any questions? (if anyone has questions…)

Anyone who has any questions should email me. (if anyone has questions…)

If you need anything, let me know.

I’m sorry for causing any problems. (if I caused any problems…)

  • We also use any when the meaning of the sentence is it doesn’t matter which.

Examples:

You can take any train, they all lead to the center. (It doesn’t matter which train you take)

A:  What kind of tea would you like? B:  Any kind would be fine, thanks.