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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    some or any

    I learned some denotes limitedness, while any does unlimitedness, and in this example, the answer is only "any", but I see no reason why some can't be. What do you think?

    A : Which bus should I take to go to the university?
    B : (Some, Any) bus will take you there.

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    #2

    Re: some or any

    If the answer was really that "some bus" will take you there (and "some" will not), then it's not a very helpful answer, is it?

    "Take any bus" is a helpful response.

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: some or any

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    If the answer was really that "some bus" will take you there (and "some" will not), then it's not a very helpful answer, is it?

    "Take any bus" is a helpful response.
    Why isn't some helpful? Can you help me with that?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: some or any

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Why isn't 'some' helpful? Can you help me with that?
    Oh, keannu! Dave did not say that 'some' was unhelpful. He said that 'some bus' in "some bus" will take you there (and "some" will not) was not helpful.

    It does tell you that one or other of the buses that stop there will take you to the university, but gives you no idea which. I agree with Dave that that is not very helpful.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: some or any

    The use of "some" is used sometimes when giving an unspecific or unhelpful answer on purpose.

    - Who was that?
    - Oh, I don't know. Some bloke.

    - Where are you staying when you go on holiday this year?
    - Some hotel or other. I'm not really sure. My wife booked it.

    - Who will be teaching you English this year?
    - Not sure. Some fuddy-duddy old professor with a long grey beard and elbow patches probably.

    All the statements above involving the word "some" would probably said with a disinterested shrug and clearly no real sense of the speaker being bothered about finding out the answer.

    As the others said, "Some bus will take you there" is a very unhelpful response to the specific question "Which bus should I take to the university?" The answer, to be helpful, needs to be:

    "You should take the number 17 bus."
    "You can take any bus heading north."
    "You can take any bus leaving from this stop."

    If you mean that all the buses go to the university, then "any" is the only appropriate word.

    If I asked someone which bus I should take to the university, and they answered with "Some bus will take you there", all I would actually know is that one of the many buses which travels around the city, or which stops at this particular bus-stop, goes to the university. I would know no more than that. I would then have to ask "OK, but which bus specifically?" To be honest, if that were the answer I received, I would probably go and ask someone else!

    You could feasibly hear "Some buses go to the university, but I'm afraid I don't know which ones."

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