Why do we need some and any
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, the exact quantity is not important. We want to know if there are any apples at all or there aren't any. This is where we need some and any. You can use them with both countable and uncountable nouns.
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 do we use "some" and when "any"
- affirmative sentences
- offers and requests when we expect the answer to be positive
- negative sentences
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)
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 for the second time, we can simply leave out the noun.
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)