Some and any


Some and any describe an indefinite quantity of countable and uncountable nouns. They are both quantifiers, which means that they are words that describe a quantity of something without mentioning the exact number. Usually they are used, if this exact number is unknown, irrelevant or uncountable. Some can also be a part of the compound words somehow, someone and somewhere. Any can be part of the compound words anyhow, anyone and anywhere.

The following table explains when to use "some" and when to use "any".

Word Meaning Case Example
Some a few/a little In positive sentences He gave him some food (uncountable).
He gave him some apples (countable)
Some a few/a little In questions where positive answers are expected, or when the question is an offer Do you want some apples?
Would you like some bread?
Any none In negative sentences She doesn't have any money.
I don't have any apples.
Any a few/a little In questions Did you take any apples?
Any none/very few In positive sentences, after words that are negative or limited, such as rarely, hardly, never... They rarely give us any presents.

Sometimes a question is asked with the word "any", but the answer is using the word "some". That can lead to confusion.

For example:
Question: Do you have any friends?   Answer: Sure, I do have some friends.

(If the answer is negative we would use: No, I don't have any friends.