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Some and any are determiners or quantifiers (determiners include quantifiers) modifying or quantifying the nouns that follow them, but do not show how many. Both quantifiers are used in front of plural countable nouns to indicate a number of people or things, and uncountable nouns to show an amount. Any, but not some, can be used in front of a singular countable noun. The verb that follows the noun must agree with it, whether it is singular or plural.

Some and any are determiners indicating a quantity (quantifiers) although a limited one.

Examples:

  • My grandpa believes some dinosaurs still exist in the Amazon jungle.
  • Any dinosaurs found would be headline news in nearly all, if not all, newspapers.

 

Some and any are used before plural countable nouns.

Examples:

  • There are some coins in the piggy bank.
  • I have some peanuts for the monkeys.
  • You shouldn’t get angry with him as he behaved like any other kids.
  • We couldn’t find any paintings of flowers for our new house.

 

Any is used in front of a singular countable noun

Examples:

  • You can get it in any shop along this road.
  • I don’t care about the colour; any one will do for me.

 

Some and any are used before uncountable nouns.

Examples:

  • She added some water to dilute the mixture.
  • I usually have some cold drink at lunchtime.
  • They will arrive any day now. 
  • You can have any soup you want - chicken or beef soup. 

 

The verb must agree with the noun that follows any or some.

Examples:

  • Any child who wants to take part in the competition has to fill in a form.
    (Singular countable noun is followed by singular verb.)
  • Some guys are at the door asking for you.
  • We had to have a discussion before any contracts were awarded.
    (Plural countable noun is followed by plural verb.)
  • Here is some news about an explosion nearby.
  • Any information gathered by the police about the crime is to be treated as confidential for the time being.
    (Uncountable noun is followed by singular verb.)

 

Any is usually used in questions. But sometimes, instead of any, some is used in questions.

Examples:

Questions using any with plural countable noun:

  • Are there any coins in the piggy bank?
  • Do you have any peanuts for the monkeys?

Questions using any with uncountable noun: 

  • Is there any money in the piggy bank?
  • Is there any oxtail soup?

Questions using some with plural couintable noun or uncountable noun:

  • Do you want some baked beans to go with it?
  • Can I get some medicine for your cough?

 

Any is used in negative statements.

Examples:

With plural countable nouns:

  • No: I don't have some dog biscuits for my dog.
  • Yes: I don't have any dog biscuits for my dog.
  • The bird hasn't got any eggs in its nest.
  • No, there aren't any cockroaches in my kitchen.

With singular uncountable nouns:

  • No, there isn't any tea in the pot.
  • She doesn't have any more salt for my soup. 

 

Some and any can be used to mean one.

Examples:

  • Some idiot put a pile of rubbish on top of my car. (= one idiot)
  • What type of girl do I like? I like any girl.

 

Some and any don’t tell us how many there are, but they can be a plural form of ‘a’ or ‘an.’

Examples:

  • Here is a picture of a wild goose.
  • Here are some pictures of a wild goose.
  • There is an ostrich in the enclosure.
  • There are some ostriches in the enclosure.
  • Is there a neighbour's duck swimming on my pond?
  • Are there any neighbour's ducks swimming on my pond?.
  • I don't see a star tonight.
  • I don't see any stars tonight.

 

Some of and any of with plural nouns
Some of is used in front of a plural noun phrase to point out a number of people or things from a particular group. The words that usually follow some of are the, these, those or a possessive.
 

Examples:

  • Some of the goats are much fatter than the others.
  • We inherited some of these ancient coins from our grandfather.
  • Some of those monkeys have been trained to follow simple orders.
  • I have not washed some of my socks for weeks.
  • She borrowed some of Agatha Christie's books from my father.
  • We can pick any of the workers to finish the work while he is away.
  • We cannot afford any of these used cars.
  • You could have disposed any of those unwanted things if you wanted to.
  • She said she would not be inviting any of her ex-colleagues to the party.

 

Some of and any of with uncountable nouns
Some of can be used in front of a singular noun phrase to refer to a part of something. The words used are the, this, that or a possessive.
 

Examples:

  • Add some of the flour to the mixture.
  • You can drink some of this lime juice.
  • Some of that money is for the children.
  • While there, we spent some of our time visiting a private farm.
  • If any of the food is too spicy, just leave it for me.
  • I wonder if any of this information will be helpful to the police.
  • He came to ask about this and not to waste any of your time.

 

Some of and any of + object pronouns
Always use a plural object pronoun – us, you, and them – after some of.
 

Examples:

  • Incorrect: Some of we found it difficult to get along with him.
  • Correct: Some of us found it difficult to get along with him.
  • Incorrect: We were told that some of they were poisonous.
  • Correct: We were told that some of them were poisonous.
  • Incorrect: I don't know any of they.
  • Correct: I don't know any of them.
  • Incorrect: Do you remember any of we?
  • Correct: Do you remember any of us?