Quantifiers: Some and Any

Quantifiers:Some & Any

The words some and any are used for countable and uncountable nouns. In general, we could say that some means a few / a little and any means none in negative clauses or a few / a little in questions.

Positive Clauses

In positive clauses, we usually use some.
I bought some bread.
My sister bought some apples.

Negative Clauses

In negative clauses, we use any. Note, however, that any alone is not a negative - it must be not ... any
I didn't buy any bread.
My sister didn't buy any apples.


In questions, we usually use any.
Did you buy any bread?
Did your sister buy any apples?
Note that some & any have to be used with a noun. 
There are some furniture in the living room.
I don't have any chairs in the kitchen.
Howeversome and any need not stand directly before the noun. Sometimes, the noun appears somewhere before some or any and is not repeated. So if you are not sure whether to use some or something for example, check if there is a noun in the sentence that you can place after some.
I do not have to buy bread. Rachel has already bought some [bread].


Positive Clauses with Any

We usually use some in positive clauses. But after neverwithouthardly, we use any.
We never go anywhere.
She did her homework without any help.
There’s hardly anyone here.
Also in if clauses, we usually use any.
If there is anything to do, just call me.

Questions with Some

We usually use any in questions. But if we expect or want the other to answer ‚yes‘, we use some.
Have you got any brothers and sisters?
→ some people have brothers or sisters, others don't - we cannot expect the answer to be ‚yes‘
Would you like some biscuits?
→ we offer something and want to encourage the other to say ‚ja‘

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