The words some and any can be used when someone does not have the ability, need, or desire to specify a number or an exact amount. For example:
I ate four bananas for breakfast this morning.
I ate some bananas for breakfast this morning.
In most instances, some is used in positive sentences:
- I got some new shoes for Christmas!
- I had some warning about the company downsizing.
- I see some potential in the new computer engineer.
In most instances, any is used in negative sentences and questions:
- I didn’t get any new shoes for Christmas!
- I didn’t have any warning about the company downsizing.
- I don’t see any potential in the new computer engineer.
- Do you have any food in the fridge?
- Do you have any more questions?
- Do you have any plans for after work today?
The same rules for some/any also apply to someone/anyone, something/anything, etc.
- There is someone on the phone for you.
- Is there anyone picking me up at the airport?
- I don’t think anyone liked your proposal.
But we do need to pay attention to the content of the sentences. When we are making an offer or a request we will use some in a question:
- Would you like some ayran?
- Could you let me use some of your pencils?
We can also use any in positive sentences if what we mean is it doesn’t matter which.
- Which book should I take? “Any of them. They are all good.”
- Ask for help anytime – I’m always available!
Here are some practice sentences – see if you can correctly fill-in-the-blanks with some/any!
1. If you’re hungry there are _______ apples in the fridge.
2. Do you have ________ cats or dogs?
3. You need to buy new socks! Those have _____ holes in them.
4. Are there _____ letters for me?
5. You won’t have _____ friends if you don’t make time in your life for them.