In this lesson, we will learn about a few quantifiers: some and any.
These words are used to express the quantity of something without talking specifically as to the exact amount. They are used with both countable and uncountable nouns. There are a few more quantifiers that are important to know in English but this time we’ll just focus on two.
We use some when we are talking about uncountable nouns in a positive way. This means that we are drawing attention to the fact that there isn’t nothing of something but a certain, noticeable amount. For example:
- I have some great ideas for the party tonight.
- There are some birds on the tree.
- I want to meet some new people.
- He went to buy some food.
- She wants to go see some movies.
- They want to go see some animals in the zoo.
In questions, we use some when we are offering something or encouraging someone to do something:
- Would you like some tea?
- Do you want to take some books with you?
- Is there something that you want to do?
- Is there somewhere that you want to go?
- Is there someone that you want to meet?
- How about we go outside and find something fun to do?
Some can also be used when we are requesting a certain amount of an object.
- Can you lend me some money?
- Do you have some advice?
- Do you have some ideas on what we should do?
- Can he give us some help?
- Would you mind giving me some A4 papers?
- Do you think they can give us some information?
As for any, it’s used for when we are talking about uncountable nouns in a negative way. This means that we are drawing the attention of the listener to the fact that there is nothing of a certain amount. Because of that, we use it for negative statements like:
- I don’t need any help.
- I don’t understand any word of this text.
- I didn’t see anyone outside.
- I’m fine, I don’t want anything.
- I want to go anywhere.
- You can come talk to me anytime.
Any is also used in questions when we are not sure about the answer:
- Do you have any brothers?
- Does he have any friends?
- Are you doing any work right now?
- Do you want anything from the supermarket?
- Don’t you want to go anywhere?
- Do you have any money in your bank account?
Let’s do some exercises with what we have learned already. Place either some or any in the gaps.
- We want to have _____ food.
- They didn’t have _____ information for us.
- We are going to need _____ help.
- I don’t need ____ advice.
- Do you think he has ____ good ideas?
- My boss just offered to give us some _____ money.