Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 655
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    someone else or anyone else

    --Victor certainly cares too much about himself.
    --Yes, he is never interested in what ________ is doing.
    A. anyone else B. someone else

    Your time is limited, so don't waste it living __________ life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.
    A. anyone else's B. someone else's


    I think both questions are similar, but the answers are opposite as underlined.

    Can a native speaker help me out?

    I feel quite puzzled about the two answers.

    Thanks

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2012
    • Posts: 29
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: someone else or anyone else

    As was pointed out in a different thread by 5jj, there's a distinction between someone and anyone:

    "Michael Lewis, In
    The English Verb (1986.34) sums up the situation rather differently, 'Both some and any are used with indefinite reference.
    Some is used if the idea is restricted or limited in some way.
    Any is used if the idea is unrestricted or unlimited.
    [...] the restriction may be a real one [...]or a psychological one existing only in the mind of the speaker.'"

    Within the context of sentence 1, he is not interested in what any person at all is doing. That is, there is no restriction placed on whom he is disinterested in, so "anyone" should be used.

    In sentence 2, you are instructed not to live a specific other person's life. Because it is restricted to one particular other person's life, one should use "someone."

    This can be a fairly nuanced issue to deal with. I hope I was helpful.

    J. Jones

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 655
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: someone else or anyone else

    You are helpful, indeed.

    Thank you!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •