“some” and “any”

One of the English language grammar areas that often causes confusion is about how to use “some” and “any” correctly in English.

Some and any have the same meaning:

They both refer to a quantity that is more than one but the exact quantityis not important.

  • This means that countable nouns will always be in the plural form or
  • we use an uncountable noun.

Example:          Are there any more chairs?

                             There are some chairs in the classroom.

Generally we can say that:

     “Some” is used in affirmative sentences and

     “Any” is used in negative sentences and in questions


– The word “some” is NOT affirmative and

– the word “any” is NOT negative.

Some is used with affirmative verb forms:

John has some new shoes

Any is used with negative verb forms can’t, don’t, didn’t, haven’t, wouldn’t etc:

  • I can’t find anywhere to park my car
  • Juan hasn’t got any brothers

         EXCEPTIONS to basic rules:

If the function of a question is to offer or demand something, we can use some rather than any.

  • Would you like some coffee?
  • Could you give me some help with my homework, please?


It is also possible to use any in affirmative sentences with the sense of an unlimited quantity:

Some however, is used in a more limited sense:

                              For an extended version of this article go to: Some or Any?

“ANY” is not negative   Try a grammar exercise – how to use Some and Any

You can also check out other Grammar lessons >> or if you prefer to practise, here are some English language grammar exercises

3 Responses to ““some” and “any””

Read below or add a comment...

  1. PARKDOLORES says:

    I took my first English classes when I was 32 and it helped my business very much. However, I still have problems to use “any” correctly. This article has helped me a lot.