top of page

Either or


Any or Some


These two little words serve many purposes and are often mixed up. Here we will try to give you an overview of when to use which one.

First of all, both some and any can be used as pronouns, adverbs or determiners. Take a look at these examples:

Some as a determiner (used to modify a noun):


- Some people don’t like spicy food (an unknown number of people).
- Can I have some sugar, please? (an unspecified number of something; in this case sugar, which is uncountable).
- Do you want some? (we need to know the context in order to understand what some is replacing; perhaps candy, water, apples,

- Some aren’t happy.

Some as an adverb:


- Some 50 people came to the party last night (more or less, approximately).
- You need to study this some more (unspecified degree).​

Any as a determiner:

- Any student would know the answer to this question (meaning that all students would know the answer).
- I am able to meet any day but Friday.

Any as a pronoun:


- They had eaten all the cake when she arrived, but luckily, she didn’t want any.
- Any of them could have done it.

Any as an adverb:

- The situation between the two presidents isn’t any good. - He’s very impatient.
I don’t think he can wait any longer.

Furthermore, any is often used in negative statements - to indicate a negative amount. For example:

  • - I don’t have any money.
    - I haven’t received any information yet.
    - Don’t you know any of the people at the party?
    - Don’t pay any attention to him.

Some, on the other hand, is used in positive statements. For example:

  • - I’ve got some money.
    - I have received some information.
    - I know some of the people at the party.
    - Some of them used their scarves as face masks.

Finally, note the difference in meaning between the following examples:

  • - You’re welcome over some day (meaning a specific, but yet unknown, day).
    - You’re welcome over any day (never mind which day – kind of always).


Rule of thumb:
Use any to indicate a negative (for example a negative amount) and some to indicate a positive (amount, or similar).


bottom of page