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  1. Mairi's Avatar
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    #1

    Exclamation Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    What are the basic rules for when we use 'some' and 'any'?

    From looking at this passage..

    A. There's some milk in the fridge and there are some cakes in the larder.
    B. Have you any bread?
    A. No, there isn't any bread.
    B. Are there any scones, then?
    A. Yes, there are some in the tin.

    I would say that the basic rules for when we use 'some' and 'any' is that we use 'some' in positive sentences and we use 'any' in negative sentences or questions where we are expecting a 'no' answer.

    However, is it correct to say "Can I have some notebooks for my students?" - Yes. Therefore what is the exception to this rule?

    The exception is that we use 'some' when requesting using 'can' in sentences when we are unsure of the answer we will receive.

    I am trying to find explanations about the following sentences..
    a. I like some pop music.
    b. I like any pop music.
    c. I don't like some pop music.
    d. I don't like any pop music.

    I have been told to look up Lewis and Hill - Practical Techniques for Language Learning, for answers. However, unfortunately I am unable to find the answers I am looking for as my library does not have this book and cannot order it in. I have ordered it online but with the backlog of orders I will not be receiving it in time before the start of my CELTA course. Does anybody reading this post have this book and is able to tell me what Lewis and Hill say about 'some' and 'any'?

    Also, if anyone has any corrections to the first part of my answer that would be great.

    Many thanks.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairi View Post
    Does anybody reading this post have this book and is able to tell me what Lewis and Hill say about 'some' and 'any'? .
    No, but I do have some Lewis words on the subject. I have to go out now, but, if nobody else has responded, I'll pass them on when I get back.

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    #3

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    Some is plural; any allows singular intent. "Are their any cookies left?" can be answered with "Yes, there is one left." Wherease, "Are there some cookies left?" can be answered with "No, just one."

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    #4

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    There is no rule. Some and any are different words with different meanings, some of which are similar.

    a. I like some pop music.
    b. I like any pop music.
    c. I don't like some pop music.
    d. I don't like any pop music.


    a. I like some pop music, but not other pop music.
    b. I like any pop music. It doesn't matter what kind; I like it all.
    c. I don't like some pop music, but I do like other other pop music. (Same as a.)
    d. (Same as b.)
    Last edited by mykwyner; 20-Dec-2010 at 18:59. Reason: error

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    As promised:


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

    “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 a real one – 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?

    The real semantic distinction is as simple as that, and applies to all uses of some and any.

    There’s more of course, but that’s the heart of it.

    Lewis suggests one way to introduce some and any to a class:

    “Put these four sentences on the blackboard:

    1. I like some pop music.
    2. I like any pop music.
    3. I don’t like some pop music.
    4. I don’t like any pop music.”

    Student should draw four circles, representing all the pop music in the world. They then shade in one half of each circle to represent the pop music that I like for each of the statements.

    If they have understood the sentences correctly:
    #1 will have half shaded (i.e. part)
    #2 will be completely shaded (i.e. all)
    #3. will have half shaded (i.e. part)
    #4 will not be shaded at all(i.e. none)


    (jlinger is, unfortunately, not correct; mykwyner has met Lewis's examples, but hasn't quite got the whole message)

  4. Mairi's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    Thank you for your answer.

    Would you say that my exception to the basic rules of 'some' and 'any' - that some is used when the idea is restricted, and any is used if the idea is unrestricted is some way, is correct?

    "Can I have some notebooks for my students?" - We use 'some' when requesting (using 'can') even if the idea is unrestricted - "Can I have some notebooks for my student's? any will do."

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    "Can I have any books?" - Is it possible for books to be given to me? (Unrestricted.)

    "Can I have some notebooks for my student's? Any will do." = I require a (restricted) number of books. The type.colour/size/etc of book is immaterial (unrestricted).

    This does not appear to be an exception.

  6. Mairi's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    Ok.

    'Any' is used in questions and negative sentences, the exception is..

    We use some in questions where we are expecting to hear a 'yes' answer. For example, in requests - "Can I have some notebooks for my students?"

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Quantifiers 'some' and 'any'

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairi View Post
    Ok.

    'Any' is used in questions and negative sentences, the exception is..

    We use some in questions where we are expecting to hear a 'yes' answer. For example, in requests - "Can I have some notebooks for my students?"
    You are better off without the idea that any is used in questions and negatives (except when it isn't!). Lewis's suggestions cover all uses of some and any.

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