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  1. Just Joined
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    #1

    Question You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    Hi all
    One of my English exercises requires me to choose between any and some. This sentence below quite confused me:

    You would be unwise to lend Tom any / some money.

    The given answer is 'any' but I'm don't understand why. Does 'any' frequently appear in negative sentences and questions?

    May you help explain the reason and give me some similar examples?

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    The word "any" is often used that way. Example:

    You can't have any more. You've had enough.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    Yes, it's a negative sentence. The corresponding positive sentence would be, "You would be wise to lend Tom some money."
    The original means "Don't lend Tom any money."

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    #4

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    The pedant in me would say that the message of the sentence is negative, but the verb itself, and therefore the sentence, are affirmative.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    I meant it's negative for the current purposes. I agree that it's not a grammatically negative sentence. The concept it describes is negative.
    Last edited by Raymott; 16-Jul-2016 at 02:31.

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    #6

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, DoguanO:

    Here is some information that may interest you. It comes from a book used by many teachers and learners.

    "We use any in affirmative clauses after words that have a negative or limiting meaning." (my emphases)

    Here are just three of its examples (my emphases):

    1. "You never give me any help."

    2. "There is little point in doing any more work now."

    3. "I forgot to get any bread."


    Source: Michael Swan, Practical English Usage (1995 edition), entry 522.4 on page 548.

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    #7

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    I have trouble explaining this too but the way I understand it is that some is more definite/specific/determined whereas any is more indefinite/unspecific/indetermined.

    • Can you lend me some money? (I'm likely to have a definite amount in mind)
    • Can you lend me any money? (I probably don't)


    I think that's why we tend to use any in negative sentences -- because they generally are more likely to emphasise an unspecified amount.

    I'm not particularly convinced by Michael Swan's analysis, and I think the third example cited above by TheParser:

    • I forgot to get any bread.


    would be more likely to be

    • I forgot to get some bread.


    because you probably had a definite amount of bread in mind, ie., a loaf.

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    #8

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    In BrE, for jutfrank's last suggestion, you're more likely to hear simply "I forgot to get bread".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    Michael Lewis [The English Verb, (1986), Hove: LTP] wrote:

    “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.”

    Lewis could have added, "and to all words begining with some or any - ~one, ~body, ~thing, ..."

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    #10

    Re: You would be unwise to lend Tom any/some money.

    [QUOTE=jutfrank;1259041] I understand it is that some is more definite/specific/determined whereas any is more indefinite/unspecific/indetermined. [QUOTE]


    NOT A TEACHER


    Excellent point.

    Here are two examples that I have never forgotten:

    1. Man knocks on door: "Is anyone in there?" (He simply does not know.)

    2. Woman knocks on door: "Is someone in there?" (She suspects that there may be, for she hears some noise in the room.)

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