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    #1

    anything or something

    Hello,

    I think I know the basic rules with 'some' and 'any', so I would say:

    'Did you eat anything delicious yesterday?"

    Could you tell me if it is correct?Or I should say: 'Did you eat something delicious yesterday?"

    Thank you,
    heyt

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    #2

    Re: anything or something

    [QUOTE=heyt;835036]



    'Did you eat anything delicious yesterday?"

    Could you tell me if it is correct?Or I should say: 'Did you eat something delicious yesterday?"


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) This is what I was taught:

    (a) Did you eat anything delicious yesterday? = I truly have no idea and I just want

    to know. Why do I want to know? Well, maybe if you did not, I shall bring you a

    delicious dessert to enjoy.

    (b) Did you eat something delicious yesterday? = I have reason to believe that you

    did and I just want to double-check with you. I saw a neighbor yesterday carrying a

    big cake to your house. So am I right? Was the cake delicious? How come you

    haven't invited me -- your best friend -- to have a slice of the cake? Or have you

    already finished it!

    (2) Compare:

    (a) You knock on the bathroom door: Is there anyone in there? = You truly do not

    know.

    (b) Is there someone in there? = You heard a noise inside, so you are guessing that

    someone is probably inside.

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    #3

    Re: anything or something

    Thank you!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: anything or something

    Both sentences are slightly unnatural, in that I don't think we are very likely to ask that particular question. This may be a personal quirk, but, while I may say that something was delicious, I am more likely to ask if was good or tasty, or, more simply, how it tasted/was.

    However, let's assume that your question is possible. If a colleague had been out for a meal at a good restaurant, we might ask, "Did you have something delicious?" If we use 'something', we are mentally restricting the idea, and therefore perhaps suggesting there there probably was something delicious. If we use 'anything', the idea is unrestricted, and there is less of a suggestion that there was something. With 'something' the speaker is perhaps expecting to be told what the delicious thing was. With 'anything' the speaker is making a more open enquiry, not knowing whether the answer will be 'yes' or 'no'

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