Indefinite and Incomplete Quantities

Some and any can be used with countable and uncountable nouns to describe an undefined or incomplete quantity.

Using "some"

Some can be used in descriptive sentences.

  • I had some rice for lunch.
  • He got some books from the library.
  • I will have some news next week.
  • Philip wants some help with his exams.
  • There is some butter in the fridge.

Some is also used in interrogative sentences when you think you already know the answer.

  • Did he give you some tea? = I think he did.
  • Is there some fruit juice in the fridge? = I think there is.
  • Would you like some help? = Probably you do.
  • Will you have some roast beef? = Probably you will

Some can also be used in interrogative sentences to ask for something or to offer something.

  • Could I have some books, please?
  • Why don't you take some apples home with you?
  • Would you like some tea?
  • Will you have some cake?

Using "any"

Anyis used in interrogative sentences when you do not know the answer.

  • Do you have any friends in London?
  • Do they have any children?
  • Do you want any groceries from the shop?
  • Are there any problems with your work?

Any is also used with not to form negative sentences. In these sentences, the word any emphasizes the negativity to make it more absolute.

  • She doesn't want any kitchen appliances for Christmas.
  • They don't need any help moving to their new house.
  • I don't want any cake.
  • There isn't any reason to complain.