Indefinite and Incomplete Quantities

Some and any are used with countable and uncountable nouns, to describe an indefinite or incomplete quantity.

Using "some"

Some is used in positive statements.

  • I had some rice for lunch.
  • He got some books from the library.
  • I will have some news next week.
  • Philip wants some help with his exams.
  • There is some butter in the fridge.

Some is also used in questions where we think we already know the answer.

  • Did he give you some tea? = I think he did.
  • Is there some fruit juice in the fridge? = I think there is.
  • Would you like some help? = You probably would.
  • Will you have some roast beef? = You probably will

Some is used in questions where the question is not a request for information, but a method of making a request, encouraging or giving an invitation.

  • Could I have some books, please?
  • Why don't you take some apples home with you?
  • Would you like some tea?
  • Will you have some cake?

Using "any"

Any is used in questions where we don't know the answer.

  • Do you have any friends in London?
  • Do they have any children?
  • Do you want any groceries from the shop?
  • Are there any problems with your work?

Any is also used with not in negative statements. In these statements, the word any emphasizes the negation. It can be left out to soften the negation.

  • She doesn't want any kitchen appliances for Christmas.
  • They don't need any help moving to their new house.
  • I don't want any cake.
  • There isn't any reason to complain.


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