Daisy and her new friend are at the shopping centre and they meet Oliver by chance. 

We use some and any for talking about indefinite numbers or amounts of things. We use them with nouns or on their own, as pronouns.

I know about some and any. You use some in positive sentences and any in questions and negatives, right?

Well, yes, often.

We've got some amazing chocolate cake, and some carrot cake.
Have you got any chocolate cake?
I haven't had any carrot cake for ages.

But we also use any in positive sentences.

Any cake will do. Surprise me.
She can tell you everything about ... well, about anything!

Oh, so what’s the rule?

We use some for talking about a limited number or amount; and we use any for an unlimited number or amount. For example, imagine you are talking about different kinds of cake. All these sentences are possible:

A I like any kind of cake. (= all kinds of cake, unlimited)
B I don't like any kind of cake. (= 0 kinds of cake, unlimited)
C I like some kinds of cake. (= a limited number of kinds of cake)
D I don't like some kinds of cake. (= a limited number of kinds of cake)

OK, I think that’s clear. I like any kind of music. I don’t like some dogs.

Yes, if you like all music and if you also like some dogs.

Yes, I like most dogs, but not dogs that bite, or dogs that are ill.

OK, then.

And what about questions? Can we use both some and any in questions?

Yes, we use both.

Would you like some more coffee?
Would you like any more to eat?

Here the difference is very small. The speaker is thinking of a limited amount in the first question, and an unlimited amount in the second question. In both questions we could use some or any.

Sometimes we use some when we expect the answer to be “yes”. We use any when we don’t know what the answer will be; we are asking whether something exists.

Can I have some sugar? (I know there’s some sugar)
Is there any cake left? (I don’t know whether there’s any cake)
Are you waiting for somebody? (I think you are)
Is anybody coming to meet you? (I don’t know)

Did you say we can use some and any on their own, as pronouns?

Yes, we don’t need to repeat the noun.

Is there any cake?
Yes, do you want some? / Sorry, there isn’t any. / Sorry, there’s none left.

Ah, none. That’s new to me.

Yes, we can use  none  or no + noun instead of not any. 

Have we got any onions?
No, there aren’t any. / There are none left.
We haven’t got any money. = We have no money.

What about somebody, anybody, everybody and nobody? Can you tell me more about how you use those words?

Of course. Somebody/anybody/nobody/everybody are used as singular nouns, even though everybody refers to more than one person and anybody can mean more than one person.

I saw somebody outside the window. (= 1 person)
There’s nobody there. (= 0 person)
Everybody knows that The Beatles were from Liverpool. (= all people)
Has anybody seen my keys? (= 1+ people)

Is somebody the same as someone?

Yes, it’s the same. We also use:

People: someone - anyone - no one - everyone
Things: something - anything - nothing - everything
Places: somewhere - anywhere - nowhere - everywhere

OK, I think that’s everything for today. I’ve got to go somewhere to meet somebody.

You don’t want to ask anything else?

No, thank you!


Language level: 


What snacks do you and your friends like to have together? What do you have to drink with them?


HereWeGo's picture
HereWeGo 26 November, 2013 - 13:05

I have a question. I know this isn't the right place where i can ask this, but... what's the difference between 'a lot of' and 'lots of'. I have large problems with these two.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 27 November, 2013 - 07:35

Hi! Well, actually there's no difference in meaning. So, you can say "I have a lot of hobbies" or "I have lots of hobbies" - the meaning is the same. :) Does that help with your question?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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WildChild's picture
WildChild 24 July, 2013 - 13:30

We like to eat popcorn , chips , candies , pancakes ..... We like drinking Coca-Cola , Sprite , juice .. :) :)

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SARAH K's picture
SARAH K 18 July, 2013 - 12:39

yes, I like to have snacks together with my friends. We usually have chips and drink any fruit juice, Or we have a hamburger or pizza. Nothing special but I like being together with my friends

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Laloheartcool's picture
Laloheartcool 10 July, 2013 - 15:16

Hi !
Me and my friend would like to eat cup cakes or pizza . We like to drink a cold drink like orange or apple drinks .

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katka's picture
katka 26 June, 2013 - 19:49

I really like pancakes but when I with my friends, I prefer pizza. They don t like pancakes. Never mind. I love pizza, too. :)

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nadoucha's picture
nadoucha 26 June, 2013 - 17:59

I want to do anything now ! I feel bored, maybe going to somewhere is a good idea , I can buy something to eat and enjoy my time with one of my best friends .

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leeza's picture
leeza 21 June, 2013 - 18:12

i would like to thanks from britishcouncil for making this wonderful web for the ones who wants to learn english thanks

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 21 June, 2013 - 19:30

Hi leeza,
Thanks a lot for your comment. It's great to know that our users like our website and find it useful. :) Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Angelica's picture
Angelica 29 May, 2013 - 19:30

Hello everybody!!!
My friends are very specil in my life.If together we will eat or drink We drink cola (SOMETIMES)or ICETEA
We eat chocolate or ice cream(in the summer )I and my friends are CRAYZ ABOUT chocolate.I like my friendssss!!!!!

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MH Mahabub's picture
MH Mahabub 19 May, 2013 - 05:19

Friends are very special in my life.When we met together and feel hungry we eat Maxican Chili Burger at a good place.We not only eat but also made so much fun.It makes our snakes more testy.We take Coca-Cola with it.This phenomenons are always the best feeling to me.Thanks friends.....

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Jholla bieber's picture
Jholla bieber 14 May, 2013 - 22:26

When Me & my friends hang out, we usually bought hamburger, and we ate in beach.. It's so funn..

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postolie's picture
postolie 13 May, 2013 - 12:04

I eat p opcorn and biscuits. And for drink i use water or ice tea for drink. And when we are at the restaurant we eat pizza and drink fruit juice.

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Kamil Kozub's picture
Kamil Kozub 28 April, 2013 - 18:09

When I meet with my friends and we want to eat sth, we go for a pizza. We have one really good place. If you want to taste, we invite you to Polish ;)

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manikak2002's picture
manikak2002 28 April, 2013 - 16:11

we usually have idly in the morning. we usually have the lunch at chicken county on every Friday. we sit together and we eat some kinds of chicken variety dishes. it takes one hours to have a lunch.. we rarely go to mohal birayani shop in a month., we usually order a pulpy orange grape juices. I have never had juices like pulpy anywhere in Bangalore. it is really tasty one.. Regarding Snack, we usually have snacks in the evening when we are in cafeteria. we have some kind of poori and bau baji.. it is an indian dishes.. Please let me know if any grammatical mistakes in this comments. correct me if im worng.. I am looking forward to your review comments.

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