Main Difference – Some vs. Any
Some and any are two determiners that can be synonymous in certain occasions since they have a similar meaning. We use these two words when we cannot determine the exact number or amount. However, there exists a difference in the usage of these two words. The main difference between some and any is that some is used in positive sentences whereas any is used with negative sentences and questions.
Some – Meaning and Usage
As mentioned above, we use some when we are not sure about the exact number or amount of something. Some can be used with both count nouns and non-count nouns. Generally, some is used in positive or affirmative sentences.
There are some bed sheets in the cupboard.
I saw some elephants at the national park.
He made some money running errands.
This rule also applies to other variations, the words that are made of some as well. Ex: somebody, someone, something, etc.
I think someone is following me.
I planned something for the party.
I’d love to go somewhere cold and wintry.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. We can use some in a question when we are offering someone something.
Would you like to have some coffee?
Do you want something to drink?
Can I help you with something?
Any – Meaning and Usage
Any is also used to indicate an unspecific number or amount. We mainly use any in negative sentences and questions. As with some, this rule also applies to all the derivatives of any such as anybody, anywhere, anytime, etc. For example,
I didn’t reveal your secret to anybody.
I don’t want any ice cream.
The Marauders didn’t leave anyone alive.
We searched there, but couldn’t find any money.
He didn’t want to go anywhere.
Do you have any relatives in that area?
Does anyone know the reason?
Did you watch any French movies recently?
It is important to notice that any cannot be used at the beginning of a sentence. In addition, we can use any in a positive sentence when we mean it doesn’t matter which.
The students are allowed to ask any questions.
You can sit anywhere you like.
You can understand the difference between some and any more clearly by observing the following questions and their negative and positive answers.
Do you have any money?
No, I don’t have any money.
Yes, I have some money.
*Would you like to have some grapes?
No, I don’t want any grapes.
Yes, I would like to have some.
Did you receive any letters this morning?
I received some letters.
I didn’t receive any letters.
Difference Between Some and Any
Some is generally used in positive sentences.
Any is generally used in negative sentences.
Some is not generally used in questions.
Any is used in questions.
Some can be used anywhere in a sentence.
Any cannot be used at the beginning of a sentence.