How to Use Some / Any

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.