THE USE OF SOME AND ANY
The determiners some and any have slightly different meanings. The use of the word some generally implies a belief in the existence of the object or objects under consideration, whereas the use of the word any may imply a doubt about the existence of the object or objects under consideration.
The words some, somebody, someone, something and somewhere are used in affirmative statements, as well as in polite questions and questions expecting an affirmative reply.
- I saw some birds in the park.
- Would you like some tea?
- You seem worried. Is something wrong?
On the contrary, the words any, anybody, anyone, anything and anywhere are used in questions and negative statements, as well as in affirmative statements referring in an indefinite way to a kind of object, without specifying a particular object.
- Did you see any birds in the park?
- I do not know anyone here.
- Any drug store can supply you with aspirin.
Some, somebody, someone, something and somewhere usually cannot be used in a negative statement. In negative statements, some may be changed to no or none, depending on whether an adjective or pronoun is required.
- Some books were left on the shelf.
- No books were left on the shelf.
- Some of the visitors arrived late.
- None of the visitors arrived late.
- Someone left a message.
- No one left a message.
- Something has happened.
- Nothing has happened.
A sentence containing the word some, in which some does not occur at the beginning of a clause, can be changed to express a negative meaning by changing the sentence to a negative statement using not, and by changing some to any.
- I bought some potatoes.
- I did not buy any potatoes.
- We will copy some of the recipes.
- We will not copy any of the recipes.
- I bought no potatoes.
- We will copy none of the recipes.
However, in modern English, the construction with not ... any is more often used than the construction with no or none.
- I met someone I used to know.
- I did not meet anyone I used to know.
- We will buy something.
- We will not buy anything.
- I met no one I used to know.
- We will buy nothing.