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Some and any

Other quantifiers: Quantifiers of large quantity Quantifiers of small quantity Neutral quantifiers - each and every

Some and any - neutral quantifiers

Some and any,  their compounds, and other neutral quantifiers

3.1. Some and any are quantifiers.

In many contexts, some is used as a plural indefinite article, the plural of "a" or "an"; but more often, some implies a limited quantity, and for this reason has the value of a neutral quantifier, neither big nor small nor specific.

is used in affirmative statements;
it is replaced with any in negative and interrogative contexts.

Test your grammar: Some and any quiz
Quantifiers test with answers
I've got some apples in my basket and some water in my bottle.
I haven't got any apples in my basket, nor any water in my bottle.
Have you got any apples in your basket? Have you got any water in your bottle?
We had some visitors last month, but we didn't have any this month.
Have you got any rooms free for the night of May 30th ?

3.2. Special cases

Some and any used in the subject of an affirmative statement....
  1. Some child has left his coat on the bus.
  2. Some help would be appreciated. (= Will someone please help me.)
  3. Some famous politician once said, "To vote or not to vote?"
  4. Even with the best insulation, some heat always escapes.
  5. Any help would be appreciated  
        ( = If someone actually helped me, that would be good)
  6. Any accident at high speed can be fatal.
  7. Almost any child will say yes if you offer an ice-cream
  8. Any educated person knows who Shakespeare was.
  9. Some people are intelligent.
  10. Any volunteers should sign up by Friday at the latest.

3.3. Any or no

There aren't any children in the road.
  =  There are no children in the road.
You mustn't bring any maps with you on the expedition.
   =  You must bring no maps with you on the expedition
I'm not going to visit any castles in Scotland.
  =  I'm going to visit no castles in Scotland.
Mobile phones are not allowed in the exam room.
  =  No mobile phones are allowed in the exam room.

3.4. Compound forms of some, any and no

There is something in the cupboard.
There isn't anything in the cupboard.
There's nothing in the cupboard
Is there anything in the cupboard ?


3.5. Some in an interrogative sentence

Is there someone in the room ?  (= I think there is someone here; am I right?)
Is there anyone in the room ?
 (= I don't know if anyone is here; can someone tell me?)
Would you like some tea ? (An affirmative answer is expected)  .

3.6. With of: Some of, any of, none of

Some of the children are eating sweets
   =  Some children are eating sweets.
Are any of the children eating sweets?
   = Are any children eating sweets ?
None of the actors like working in this theatre.
   = No actors like working in this theatre.

I can answer some of the questions; he can't answer any of them..

ONE CANNOT SAY:  Some of children... None of animals ... etc.

Other determiners:
Some of John's cars are very old.
Some of my cars are very old
Some of these cars are very old.

3.7. Other neutral quantifiers: 

Several, a number of, enough  These quantifiers are dealt with under the section quantifiers of large quantity. Technically they express a large or sufficiently large quantity; often they are used with a very neutral meaning, as synonyms of some or any.

4 Recapitulation: table of usage for common English quantifiers

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
Neutral some, several, a number of, enough any, enough any, enough
Large quantity numerous, plenty of, a lot of, lots of, too many much, many, too many much, many, too many
Small quantity few / a few, little / a little

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