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Some and any
What some and any mean
First, study these sentences:
— How many apples have you got? — I've got ten apples, that's enough to make an apple tart.
— Have you got any apples? — Yes, I've got some.
In the first sentence, we mention the exact quantity — ten apples. But in the second sentence, we don't speak about the quantity because it is not important. We want to know if there are any apples at all or there are no apples. This is where we need some and any. You can use them with both countable and uncountable nouns.
We don't use any with singular countable nouns (like a book, a dog, a laptop).
I've got some free time.
I haven't got any free time.
John has got some ideas.
John hasn't got any ideas.
When to use "some" and when "any"
Some goes with
offers and requests when we expect a positive answer
I'm going to buy some books.(affirmative)
I've got some cheese left.(affirmative)
Let's make some tea.(offer)
Would you like some help?(offer)
Can I have some milk, please?(request)
Any goes with
I don't have any friends.(negative)
He doesn't need any advice.(negative)
Have we got any food in the fridge?(question)
Are there any problems?(question)
Some and any without a noun
With some and any we can avoid repeating the noun by simply leaving it out.
I didn't have any money to pay for the taxi but Gina lent me some.(= some money)
I've got some fresh orange juice. Would you like some?(= some orange juice)
Are there any special offers for these products? No, there aren't any.(= any special offers)
Some in the meaning "a part of"
We can use some + a plural noun when we mean not the whole group of things or people, but only a part of it.
I knew some people at the party.= a part of those people
Some mushrooms are poisonous.= a part of all mushrooms
We can also say some of, in this case, we need to put the or my/your/his... before the noun.
Some of my friends are quite well-off.= some friends of mine
Some of the highlighters dried out.= some highlighters
Any in the meaning "it doesn't matter which"
We also use any to mean "it does not matter which or what". In this meaning, we can use any with all types of nouns. We often stress any in speaking.
Call me at any time!(doesn't matter what time)
Any educated person should know such things.(every educated person)
I like both walnuts and macadamia, take any.(walnuts or macadamia, it doesn't matter)