Unit 80. Some and any…Some/any + -one/-body/-thing/-where

In general we use some in positive sentences and any in negative sentences (but see also sections b and d):

  • Ann has bought some new ? They don’t have any children.

  • I’ve got something in my eye. ? He‘s lazy. He never does any work.

    We use any in the following sentences because the meaning is negative:

  • He left home without any money. (He didn’t have any money.)

  • She refused to say anything. (She didn’t say anything.)

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

    We use some in questions, especially when we offer or ask for things:

  • Would you like some tea? ? Can I have some of those apples?

    Any also has another meaning. Any/anyone/anybody/anything/anywhere can mean it doesn’t matter which/who/what/where:

  • You can catch any of these buses. They all go downtown. (= it doesn’t matter which of these buses)

  • Come and see me any time you want. (= it doesn’t matter when)

  • You can have anything you want for your birthday present.

  • We left the door unlocked. Anybody could have come in.

  • I’d rather go anywhere than stay at home during my vacation.

  • “Sing a song.” “Which song shall I sing?” “Any song. I don’t care.”

    Someone/somebody/anyone/anybody are singular words:

  • Someone wants to see you.

  • Is anybody there?
    But we often use they/them/their after these words:

  • If anyone wants to leave early, they can. (= he or she can)

  • Somebody has spilled their (= his or her) coffee on the carpet.

    For some of any of see Unit 78.

    For notany see Unit 81.

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