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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 58
    #1

    Is there any difference in meaning??

    1- Fred gives me (a/some) nice present. [if both are correct english]

    are "a" & 'some' always interchangeable I mean in all contexts?

    2- Does Alice eat (any/some/ an) apple? [also is there any difference if all are correct?]

    thanx
    Last edited by rezaa; 03-Apr-2007 at 10:07.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Is there any difference in meaning??

    Quote Originally Posted by rezaa View Post
    1- Fred gives me (a/some) nice present. [if both are correct english]

    are "a" & 'some' always interchangeable I mean in all contexts?

    2- Does Alice eat (any/some/ an) apple? [also is there any difference if all are correct?]

    thanks

    1: No, they are not interchangeable:

    Fred gives me a nice present one present
    Fred gives me a couple of nice presents two presents
    Fred gives me some nice presents more than two presents

    2: They are all correct but have different meanings:

    Does Alice eat apple? Does Alice eat this kind of fruit
    Does Alice eat (an) apple? Is Alice eating an apple
    Does Alice eat (any) apple? Does Alice eat any kind of apple
    Does Alice eat (some) apple? Will Alice eat a bit of apple





  1. #3

    Re: Is there any difference in meaning??

    "a nice present" vs. "some nice present" (Note: I'm NOT talking plural, "presents".)

    They don't mean the same thing.

    "A nice present" is the default. "A" is the indefinite article, which you use when you haven't mentioned the present before, or when you're not specifying it (as in: "the nice present which Fred gave me).

    "Some" can have a meaning similar to the indefinite article:

    "Tomorrow is my birthday. Fred gives me some nice present, and then we go to a fancy restaurant."

    "Some" is hard to pin down, in this case. It means that what the present is isn't known or isn't important. This could be expressed by using a simple "a", as well: "Fred gives me a nice present, and then..." The meaning doesn't really change, but you still lose "something", a subtle emphasis that's hard to explain. In the above example, "some" could imply that the speaker is looking forward to going to the restaurant more than to the gift. (It doesn't have to; a lot depends on how they say the sentence.)

    Another example:

    A: Who was that on the telephone?
    B: Some colleague from work. You don't know him.

    B could have said "a", but "some" will help get the message across that it's not important. Maybe B is too tired and doesn't want to explain. Or maybe B thinks it's none of A's business who called. Again, it depends on how it was said.

    Look for "some nice present" on the web and try to guess why they didn't say "a".

    Then, there's another usage of "some", where you use it to express surprise, astonishment, vehement approval etc.

    "That's SOME nice present." (Note that the speaker would stress "some" here.)

    I'd advise you not to use "some" until you know how to use it. When you hear (or - less often - read) it pay attention to context and try to guess what the speaker means by it.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 58
    #4

    Re: Is there any difference in meaning??

    thank you

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