Some, any, every and no

Some, any, every and no

Instructions: 

As you watch the video, look at the examples of some, any, every and no. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, some, any, every and no correctly.

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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!


 

Total votes: 1063

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Grammar: 

Discussion

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

Comments

smilemaria85's picture
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41x

I always drink caffe latte Machiato and my friends always drink juice they are vegetarian and we always eat pizza but my friend always eat vegetarian pizza

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47 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
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244x

Hi DROPE, Thanks for your comments on LearnEnglish Teens. This website is specially for teenagers aged 13-17 years old but it sounds like you are older than that. You are welcome to keep on using LearnEnglish Teens but if you are over 17, please do NOT post any more comments as we must keep this strictly for teenagers to interact with each other. You are welcome to join our LearnEnglish page for adults and post comments there: www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish
Thanks and best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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67 users have voted.
JennySam's picture
2357x
21x

A some of my friends and I would like to eat hamburger or pizza, but some of them don't like hamburguer. We like to drink orange juice or a beer cold.

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63 users have voted.
HereWeGo's picture
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34x

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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226 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
91603x
724x

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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208 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
36483x
315x

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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259 users have voted.
katka's picture
1138x
8x

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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208 users have voted.

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