“ANY” is NOT negative in English

“… not any” is negative. ANY is not negative!!!

I hear so many non-native English speakers make this mistake:

– Have you got any brothers or sisters?

– No, any                     ……”any” is NOT negative in this sense.

            Generally we can say that:

  •      – “Some” is used in affirmative sentences and

  •      – “Any” is used in negative sentences and in questions

But be CAREFUL! The word  “any” is NOT negative.

– Have you got any homework today John?

No, any       This is incorrect.

No, I have not got any. Here “any” is correct because the verb is negative

– No, none. This is the correct short answer.


Any is used with negative verb forms:

I can’t find anywhere to park my car 

Juan hasn’t got any brothers.

Ben didn’t eat anything last Sunday because he had an upset stomach

not + any is negative


The compounds of some and any (somewhere, anywhere, someone, anyone , something, anything etc) function in exactly the same way.

     EXCEPTIONS to the basic rules:


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

Anybody in the office will give you the information, if you ask. (Here it doesn’t matter who you ask, they all will be able to help you)

    –          Which pizza do you want?

                      –          I don’t mind, any one will be fine. (Here I don’t mind which of the many pizzas you give me. They all look good)

Some however, is used in a more limited sense:

                     –           Somebody in the office will help you, if you ask.  (Here it means that at least one person will be able to help you.)

                     –          Which of the salads are nice?

                     –          Some are very nice, but I don’t like the egg salad or the tuna salad. (I like some of them but not all of them)

“Some” is possible in questions in English

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