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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Question Someone and anyone - negative question

    How do these pronouns work in negative questions?

    Isn't anyone listening to me?
    Isn't someone listening to me?

    The first one sounds right to me but on the quiz, the correct answer would be the second.

    This is the item on your quiz https://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/70.html:

    Q11 - Shouldn't we ask _____ for help?
    anyone
    someone -> correct
    Either could be used here.

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    #2

    Re: Someone and anyone - negative question

    'Someone' is a better answer to me. It seems more likely to me that you will ask a specific person, even if that person is a stranger.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Someone and anyone - negative question

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    How do these pronouns work in negative questions?

    Isn't anyone listening to me?
    Isn't someone listening to me?

    The first one sounds right to me but on the quiz, the correct answer would be the second.

    This is the item on your quiz https://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/70.html:

    Q11 - Shouldn't we ask _____ for help?
    anyone
    someone -> correct
    Either could be used here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    'Someone' is a better answer to me. It seems more likely to me that you will ask a specific person, even if that person is a stranger.
    Hang on - we have two different cases here. I agree with Tdol, for Q11 the best answer is "someone" - whoever you ask, in the end will be a particular person (someone).

    But in the original case, either's possible - though "anyone" is much more likely; "someone" would only be possible with heavy stress on the "some" - "Isn't [at least] someone [of you all] listening to me - [or might I just as well save my breath]? [Really, I don't know why I bother]" (I remember feeling like this sometimes during Teaching Practice )

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