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Some and Any (grammar)

We use some and any with uncountable nouns and plural nouns. The general rule is that we use some in positive sentences and any in negative sentences and questions.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

1. Any can be used in a positive sentence to mean ‘it does not matter which one’.

  • You can catch any train in that direction to go to Liverpool.
  • You are welcome to come and ride the horses any weekend.

2. Any can also be used in positive sentences that have a negative feeling, for example if they contain the words neverhardly and without

  • I never eat any bread.
  • He hardly watches any television.
  • There is hardly any petrol left in the car. We need to stop at the petrol station.
  • She went out without any money in her handbag.

3: Some is often used in questions when it is expected that the answer will be yes.

  • Could you pass me some salt?
  • Would you like some tea?
  • Do you want some strawberries?

Combining some and any with other words

We can combine some and any with other words:

Someone – anyone
Somebody – anybody

Something – anything
Somewhere – anywhere

The rules for using these word combinations are the same as the rules for using some and any.

Examples of affirmative sentences with someone / somebody /something /somewhere

  • Somebody is sleeping in my bed.
  • I gave him something to remember me by.
  • He saw something in the garden.
  • We need to find somewhere to live.

Examples of negative sentences with anyone / anybody /anything /anywhere

  • I didn’t give him anything.
  • There isn’t anything to eat in the fridge.
  • I didn’t know anyone at the party.

Examples of questions with anyone / anybody /anything /anywhere

  • Didn’t you go anywhere last night?
  • Do you know anybody here?
  • Did you know anybody at the party last night?

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