Some vs. Any

The general rule is to use 'some' in positive, and 'any' in negative and interrogative sentences.

"Some" vs. "Any" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

The main difference between 'some' and 'any' is that we use 'some' mainly in positive sentences, while we use 'any' mainly in negative and interrogative sentences.


What They Refer to

  • 'Some':

refers to a small quantity.

I wanted some rest, so I took the trip.

  • 'Any':

refers to the existence of something.

There are not any toys in the box.

Grammatical Functions

  • 'Some':

is generally used in positive sentences.

Some furniture was made of woods; the other was made of metal.

Some in Interrogative Sentences

We can use 'some' in questions to offer something when we are sure the answer is positive.

"Would you like some milk?" "yes, please."

  • 'Any':

is generally used in negative and interrogative sentences.

Do you need any help?

I don't need any extra salt, the soup is salty enough.

'Any' in Affirmative Sentences

We can use 'any' in affirmative sentences, and it means 'it doesn't matter which'. In this case 'any' is most often followed by singular countable nouns.

You can take any taxi. They are all of the same destination.


Using Singular and Plural Nouns

  • 'Some' and 'any':

are both followed by plural countable nouns or singular uncountable nouns.

Some students are staying in the dormitory.

Please buy some honey for breakfast.

Do you have any problems with my brother?

He claims that there is not any information about the crime.

Using Singular and Plural Verbs

  • 'Some' and 'any':

are both used with singular or plural verbs.

"Did you see the new collection of Cartier?" "Some of them are way too nice."

"How am I supposed to bake a cake?" "There are not any eggs left."

Some water was dripping from the faucet.

There wasn't any hair on his head; he was totally bald.

'Some of' and 'Any of'

  • 'Some of' and 'any of':

are used with pronouns and determiners.

Some of my friends are doctors.

I don't know any of his friends.

Grammatical Functions

  • 'Some' and 'any' are used as:
  1. pronouns
  2. determiners

Oh my God! This salmon tastes so good. Here, have some! → pronoun

"How was the sandwich?" "I do not know, I didn't have any." → pronoun

I am not hungry. I have had some pizza earlier. → determiner

Do you have any news of him? → determiner


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