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Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

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any vs some

Any and some are both determiners. They are used to talk about indefinite quantities or numbers, when the exact quantity or number is not important. As a general rule we use some for positive statements, and any for questions and negative statements,

For example:-

I asked the barman if he could get me some sparkling water. I said, "Excuse me, have you got any sparkling water?" Unfortunately they didn't have any.

!Note - You will sometimes see some in questions and any in positive statements. When making an offer, or a request, in order to encourage the person we are speaking to to say "Yes", you can use some in a question:

For example: Would you mind fetching some gummy bears while you're at the shops?

You can also use any in a positive statement if it comes after a word whose meaning is negative or limiting:

For example:-
A. She gave me some bad advice.
B. Really? She rarely gives any bad advice.


Confusing Words