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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #116954: Some - Any
Some - Any
Some and Any
The words some and any are used when the speaker cannot specify or does not want/need to specify a number or an exact amount.
Let's compare the following sentences.
-I saw seven bears when horse riding in the forest. (It is important for you to know how many bears I saw).
-I saw some wild boars in the forest. (I don't know exactly how many I saw. Or, it is not important that you know how many I saw).
The rules that follow apply to words containing some and any, somebody/anybody, something/anything, etc.
Generally some is used in positive sentences.
-My sister got some nice presents for her birthday.
-The brickwork for this house is going to take some time.
-Look ahead, there are some cattle crossing the road.
-Clean your hands you have some grease on them.
-If you are thirsty, you'll find some orange juice in the fridge,
-I'm certain I will visit Chile again some day.
-There is somebody at the door asking for you.
-We would like to go somewhere nice for a holiday.
Generally, any is used in negative sentences and questions.
-Nobody gave me any nice presents for my birthday.
-I couldn't find any milk in the fridge.
-I don't need any help from you.
-She's so rude. No wonder she doesn't have any friends.
-I don't have anything nice to wear to the school formal.
-I don't want to hear anything more said on the subject.
-Do you have any pets at home?
-Did you catch any prawns yesterday?
-Have you been in touch with any old friends lately?
-Does anyone have any questions?
-Do you plan to go anywhere this winter?
In fact the use of some/any is a little more complicated. Find below two occasions when the above rules are often broken.
1. We can use some in questions when offering/requesting.
-Would you like some more cake?
-Could I have some sugar please?
-Do you want something to drink?
2. We can use any in positive sentences when we mean it doesn't matter
-You can come and see me any day.
-Which plate should I use? Anyone.
-You can sit anywhere but here. This is my seat.
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