Any or Some?

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Jul 13, 2007
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Could anyone please tell me where to find lesson about how to use 'some' and 'any'?

Thanks in advance!!!


Sep 25, 2007
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A difficult pair of words, as both are designed to create uncertainty - that is - they are used when the precise amount or thin is not certain.
Some is usually used when the amount or the identity is undetermined -
Some person left an umbrella. (the identity being undetermined)
I have some eggs (the number being undetermined)
I have some sugar (the amount being undetermined)
Any is also undetermined, but seems to mean 'not none' - an amount that is not zero.
Does anyone have an umbrella?
Do you have any eggs?
Do you have any sugar? in each case you are asking if the amount is not zero.
The answer would then be --
I do not have an umbrella or I have an umbrella
I do not have any eggs. or I have some eggs.
I do not have any sugar or I have some sugar

So any is used in the question form or in the negative form --
are there any ....?? There aren't any ....

But any can also be used to specify that a precise answer is not needed.
Anybody can do it. in other words Not a specific person
Any amount will do NOT a specific amount
Any port in a storm NOT a specific port.

So if the ANY sentence you are looking at is not a question or a negative it is probably a specific indefinite - That makes sense doesn't it??


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Sep 13, 2007
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Dear w0510_vn,

I would supplement a few brief and important explanations concerning the theme in question.

We often use any, anyone, anything etc. after if.

If any letters arrive for me, can you send them to this address?
If anyone has any questions, I’ll be glad to answer them.
If you need anything, just ask.
Buy some pears if you see any

The following sentences are without if but they have the idea of if..

Anyone who wants to take the exam must give me their names before Friday (if there is anyone who…)
I’ll send on any letters that arrive for you. (if there are any…)

In question we usually use any (not some)

Do you have any money? Has anybody seen Tom?

But we often use some in questions when we expect the answer “yes”.

What wrong with your eye? Have you got something in it? (= I think you have something in your eye and expect you to say “yes”.)

We use some in question, especially when we offer or ask things.

Would you like some tea? Can I have some of these apples?


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