THE QUANTIFIERS

Compound nouns made with SOME, ANY and NO

Some + -thing -body -one -where
Any +
No +

Compound nouns with some- and any- are used in the same way as some and any.

Positive statements:

Examples

  • Someone is sleeping in my bed.
  • He saw something in the garden.
  • I left my glasses somewhere in the house.

Questions:

Examples

  • Are you looking for someone? (= I'm sure you are)
  • Have you lost something? (= I'm sure you have)
  • Is there anything to eat? (real question)
  • Did you go anywhere last night?

Negative statements:

Examples

  • She didn't go anywhere last night.
  • He doesn't know anybody here.

NOTICE that there is a difference in emphasis between nothing, nobody etc. and not ... anything, not ... anybody:

Examples

  • I don't know anything about it. (= neutral, no emphasis)
  • I know nothing about it (= more emphatic, maybe defensive)

SOMETHING, SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE

Examples

  • I have something to tell you.
  • There is something to drink in the fridge.
  • He knows somebody in New York
  • Susie has somebody staying with her.
  • They want to go somewhere hot for their holidays.
  • Keith is looking for somewhere to live.

ANYBODY, ANYTHING, ANYWHERE

Examples

  • Is there anybody who speaks English here?
  • Does anybody have the time?
  • Is there anything to eat?
  • Have you anything to say?
  • He doesn't have anything to stay tonight.
  • I wouldn't eat anything except at Maxim's.

NOBODY, NOTHING, NOWHERE

Examples

  • There is nobody in the house at the moment
  • When I arrived there was nobody to meet me.
  • I have learnt nothing since I began the course.
  • There is nothing to eat.
  • There is nowhere as beautiful as Paris in the Spring.
  • Homeless people have nowhere to go at night.

ANY can also be used in positive statements to mean 'no matter which', 'no matter who', 'no matter what':

Examples

  • You can borrow any of my books.
  • They can choose anything from the menu.
  • You may invite anybody to dinner, I don't mind.