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  1. #1
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    There is milk/ There is some milk

    When I write about an unspecified, uncountable noun, is it necessary to use "some"?

    1.There is some milk in the fridge.
    2.There is milk in the fridge.


    Is there a difference in meaning between 1 and 2?

    The same problem with:
    1. There isn't any milk in the fridge.
    2. There isn't milk in the fridge.


    Is "any" necessary?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    When I write about an unspecified, uncountable noun, is it necessary to use "some"?

    1.There is some milk in the fridge.
    2.There is milk in the fridge.


    Is there a difference in meaning between 1 and 2?

    The same problem with:
    1. There isn't any milk in the fridge.
    2. There isn't milk in the fridge.


    Is "any" necessary?
    There is no real difference between the first two.
    "Any" is necessary, in my opinion. While "There isn't milk in the fridge" would be understandable, we would say either "There isn't any milk in the fridge" or "There's no milk in the fridge".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    When I write about an unspecified, uncountable noun, is it necessary to use "some"?

    1.There is some milk in the fridge.
    2.There is milk in the fridge.


    Is there a difference in meaning between 1 and 2?

    The same problem with:
    1. There isn't any milk in the fridge.
    2. There isn't milk in the fridge.


    Is "any" necessary?


    No, you do not need to say 'some'. However it does leave the sentence fairly ambiguous.

    With the last two sentences, there is no difference. They both have the same meaning, implying 'there isn't any milk'.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    No, you do not need to say 'some'. However it does leave the sentence fairly ambiguous.
    In what way do you find it ambiguous?

  5. #5
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In what way do you find it ambiguous?

    People interpret 'some' in different ways, depending on the context. Honestly, if somebody said to me 'there is some milk in the fridge' I'd immediately think there isn't much, and I need to buy some.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There is no real difference between the first two.
    ...
    - except that the first can be used to imply '...but not very much' - by putting stress on the 'some', as Haniball has said. The stress doesn't need to be heavy to carry this implication - /sǝm/ => an unspecified amount, /sʌm/ => not very much.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 11-Mar-2013 at 11:49. Reason: Add last sentence

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: There is milk/ There is some milk

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Honestly, if somebody said to me 'there is some milk in the fridge' I'd immediately think there isn't much, and I need to buy some.
    I'd think that if, as Bob suggested, the word 'some' were stressed. When 'some' is unstressed, I agree with ems; I find no real difference between the question with 'some' and the one without.

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