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    #1

    any/some

    Hi there!

    Is it correct to say:

    Do you have some cookies?

    instead of saying:

    Do you have any cookies?

    Thanks

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: any/some

    Generally, no.

    Use "any" for questions and negatives.

    Do you have any cookies? - a question
    I don't have any cookies.- a negative statement
    I have some cookies. - a positive statement
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: any/some

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Generally, no.

    Use "any" for questions and negatives.

    Do you have any cookies? - a question
    I don't have any cookies.- a negative statement
    I have some cookies. - a positive statement
    Barb's suggestions are a useful guide for elementary students, but there is more to it than that.

    Nathan's Do you have some cookies?, for example, is perfectly acceptable in certain contexts.

    I have a tendency to ramble, so I'll try to put my thoughts together concisely before I post more information on this.

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    #4

    Re: any/some

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Hi there!

    Is it correct to say:

    Do you have some cookies?

    instead of saying:

    Do you have any cookies?

    Thanks

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Mr. McKane,

    As I understand it:

    (1) Do you have any cookies?

    =

    I really do not know. It is just a question that needs an answer.

    (2) Do you have some cookies?

    =

    I suspect (guess) that there is a real possibility that you do.

    (Maybe earlier in the day, I saw you enter a bakery.)

    *****

    If a custodian (janitor) wants to clean a restroom (toilet), s/he

    would knock on the door and ask:

    Is anyone in there?

    =

    S/he has no idea whether or not someone is inside.

    Is someone in there?

    =

    S/he thinks that someone may be inside because s/he heard

    a noise coming from the restroom.


    *****


    At work, the boss announces:

    If anyone has a birthday today, come to the office and I will give you

    some extra money. She has no idea whether or not today is the birthday

    of one of her employees.

    At work, three of your co-workers come up to you with big

    smiles on their faces and say:

    Does someone have a birthday today?

    (They know that it is your birthday.)


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

  3. Eden Darien's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: any/some

    I still remember studying this in pragmatics under implicature. To my surprise, in pragmatics some can means all.

    What do you guys think about this because normally If I say or hear 'some' it implies 'not all' to me...

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    #6

    Re: any/some

    Some can mean "not all" as in "I only drank some of the whiskey!"

    But it can be used, as in this original post, as a general inquiry.

    I would love some pie. Do you have some?

    Barb is right that "any" is always correct. But sometimes "some" is OK.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: any/some

    I have decided that my own thoughts are far less satisfactory than those of Michael Lewis:

    All of the following sentences are well-formed

    I don’t like some pop music.
    I don’t like any pop music.

    Someone in the enquiry office will help you
    Anyone in the enquiry office will help you.

    Is there someone here on Saturdays?
    Is there anyone here on Saturdays?

    […]

    The real explanation is not difficult. 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.
    Any applies to all or none; some applies to part.

    The restriction may be real –There’s some cheese in the fridge, or a psychological one existing only in the mind of the speaker – Would you like something to eat?

    […]

    Of course, it would be very confusing to present students with randomly chosen examples of some and any when they first meet these grammatical items. It does seem, however, that the teaching procedure which involves presenting some in positives […] and any in negatives […] is unsatisfactory unless at the same time teachers draw attention to the wider rule.

    Lewis has provocative and intelligent ideas on many aspects of English grammar. I strongly recommend his The English Verb to anyone dissatisfied with traditional explanations

    Lewis, Michael. (1986) The English Verb, Hove: LTP

    (A review: )THE ENGLISH VERB is an exploration for teachers of the structure and meaning of the central verb system of English. Much that has been written about the grammar of English is detailed and can often seem confusing to the new teacher. Michael Lewis looks beyond the details and finds powerful general truths which help the teacher see English grammar as a coherent system.

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