some any no grammar

Some, any and no in English




Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

Some, any and no are quantifiers: they indicate a certain quantity or indefinite quantity. They can also be determinants or pronouns. Other undefined quantifiers are a little more precise (see this lesson here).


Some is used in affirmative sentences. It indicates that the name it determines has a real existence:

  • I would like some sugar with my coffee.
  • There’s some pizza in the oven. 

Some can be used in a questioning sentence, one then expects a positive answer – or if one wants to convince the interlocutor to give a positive answer:

  • Would you like some tea? 
  • Would you like some more information? 
  • Could you give me some water? 
  • Could you lend me some money? 

⚠️ Some + name can also be used to translate ‘a certain…’ or something vague:

  • Some woman is asking for you. 
  • Some people are driving really dangerously. 

⚠️ Some + number = ‘about’ or ‘around’

  • He lives some three kilometres frome here. 

⚠️ Some can be used to express appreciation:

  • He’s some singer! 
  • That’s some beer! 


Any is used in negative sentences to indicate that the name it determines has no (or perhaps no) real existence:

  • He doesn’t have any friend. 
  • There aren’t any eggs in the fridge. 
  • I didn’t buy any. 

It is also used in interrogative sentences, when it is not known whether the element to which it refers has a real existence or not.

  • Do you have any family around? 
  • Have you seen any horses in this park? 
  • Did we get any mail today? 

Any can be used to make generalizations:

  • Any student can do that. 


No equals to not any. It’s used in sentences with a negative meaning, but with a positive verb:

  • They have no alcohol here. 
  • There are no wolves here. 

Some expressions with no:

  • No problem 
  • No comment 
  • No vacancies 
  • No entry 

Compund words with SOME-, ANY-, NO-

  • somebody, anybody
  • someone, anyone 
  • something, anything 
  • somewhere, anywhere 
  • nowhere 
  • nobody, no one 
  • nothing 


⚠️ Compare the following sentences:

  • Did you buy some bread?  (we are waiting for a positive answer)
  • Did you buy any bread?  (we have no idea of the answer.)

⚠️ With a count in the singular, some and any do not refer to quantity but underline the indefinite character of the name:

  • We’ll meet again some day. 
  • Any car will be better than this one! 

⚠️ After some and any, the name may be implied, if it is obvious:

  • ‘I bought too many cakes. would you like some?’ ‘No, I don’t want any.’ 



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