Some vs Any

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by kallabis, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. kallabis Junior Member

    I've got another question for anyone who may want to help me.
    Well, it is somewhat of a doubt: I was convinced that Any was to be used in the interrogative and negative forms of a sentence, for instance in cases such as:
    'Have you got any doubt?'
    Well, performing an on-line English test, one of the questions to be completed was: "Have you got . . . apples?"
    I completed it with 'any'
    but the solutions indicated it as a mistake because the correct answer was 'Have you got SOME apples'.
    I confess you I almost fell down from my chair: much to my surprise, one of my grammar pillars broke down miserably...
    Will anybody help me clarify this point?
    Thanks thanks thanks.
  2. fabry2811

    fabry2811 Senior Member

    Italy - Italian
  3. Land of confusion New Member

    So bene che quando si tratta di espressioni dubitative bisogna mettere any di solito, ma se io vado a una festa, e voglio vedere se riesco a incontrare i miei amici Marco e Antonio per andare a ballare, e qualcuno mi chiede cosa sto facendo io devo rispondere:
    1)Whether I meet SOME guys then ...
    2)Whether I meet ANY guys then...

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2008
  4. bridgespotter Senior Member

    I think your test was unfair. If you went to a greengrocer and could not see any apples you would say. Have you got any apples?
  5. robikone

    robikone Junior Member

    Ciao a tutti,
    In effetti lascia perplesso anche me, la risposta al test di Kallabis.
    Posso aggiungere solo che "any" viene usato appunto nelle domande in senso dubitativo o neutro. Quindi se la domanda contiene un suggerimento positivo si usa "some".
    Esempio : "C'è del formaggio in frigo?" può essere una domanda negativa (strano,pensavo di averlo finito), neutra (non lo so proprio) o positiva (ce ne dovrebbe essere ancora). A me hanno insegnato che nel terzo caso la traduzione è "
    Is there some cheese (left) in the fridge?"

    Ai madrelingua il verdetto...
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  6. clouzot New Member

    Ciao sono nuova. Anch'io sono assai perplessa. Credo comunque che abbia ragione robikone.

    Do you have some apples? E' una semplice domanda in senso neutro.

    Do you have any apples? E' una domanda che sottintende che saresti davvero sorpresa se le mele davvero ci fossero, cioè è una domanda che contiene in se' il pregiudizio che le mele in quel posto non possano proprio esserci, c'è strisciante polemica, c'è eccesso di dubbio

    kallabis both forms are correct IMHO.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2008
  7. Leo57 Senior Member

    UK English
    Hi there
    This might help, although the link supplied by Fabry is excellent
    Some, any, are used to refer to a part of the item:

    Would you like some ice cream?
    I could not find any fresh vegetables at the shop.

    Note:: Have you any apples, because I would like some.
    (I really needed some apples to bake a pie, have you any? )

    Some is used in positive declarative sentences:
    I have bought some chocolate.
    I saw some small birds on the lawn.

    Any is used in negative declarative sentences:
    I didn’t buy any chocolate.
    I have not seen any birds in these woods.

    In interrogative sentences (questions) any is used when there is no particular expection about the answer; some is used when the answer is expected to be postiive.
    Have you any fresh vegetables today?
    Has Paul any information about the car crash?
    Would you like some cake?

    If you pay attention to the above and to the link, you will see that it is better to ask:
    Have you any apples? (Yes, we have some apples, how many would you like?)
    Is there any cheese left? (Yes, there should be some left as I didn't eat it all!)

    Here are some of my friends, have you met any of them?

    With regard to:
    1)Whether I meet SOME guys then ...
    2)Whether I meet ANY guys then...

    It might be better to express this in Italian first, as it is not clear exactly what you want to say. At a guess:

    If I meet some of my friends we will all go to the cinema together.
    (= If by chance/If I happen to meet some of my friends....etc.)

    Hope this helps.
  8. robikone

    robikone Junior Member

    Great job Leo!
    You mean that "some" in interrogative sentences can be only used:
    To offer something.
    To ask for something.
    Stop - No other "nuances" are commonly used. In any other kind of interrogative sentences use "any".
    Have I got it properly?
  9. Leo57 Senior Member

    UK English
    Hi there
    I'm absolutely certain that there will be "nuances"! However, if you stick with the basic rules, you can't go wrong. "Is there some cheese in the fridge?" is not exactly wrong and I would probably say this myself, but to use “any” is much better, but explaining this is not easy. (Compare the two ways for yourself on the internet and see the results.)

  10. marcomatteo New Member

    Curiosando nel forum mi sono imbattuto in un post che mi ha creato un pò di confusione.
    Era una domanda di un ragazzo che chiedeva in Inglese la traduzione in Italiano di:
    Can I get you something?
    Would you like something?
    La mia domanda è perchè some e non any???
    Io so che any e tutti i suoi derivati vanno con le frasi interrogative e negative mentre some con le affermative.

  11. entrapta

    entrapta Senior Member

    Perché in questo caso non si tratta di vera domanda ma quando si offre qualcosa o ci si aspetta una risposta positiva si una some. Altro esempio: se vedi uno che si stropiccia un occhio dici "Have you got something in your eye?".
  12. Allanon

    Allanon Senior Member

    Entrapta ti ha risposto quasi perfettamente, in quanto questa è una domanda vera e propria, ma ci si aspetta una risposta positiva, quindi si usa il something.
  13. entrapta

    entrapta Senior Member

    Effettivamente non c'è ragione di dire che non sia domanda vera e propria :D scusate ho la mente un po' ottenebrata dall'influenza.
  14. marcomatteo New Member

    Ovviamente la prendo per buona però non capisco il motivo di questa ecezzione, in quanto si chiede 'qualcosa' e non una cosa specifica, inoltre la risposta potrebbe anche essere: No Thanks. I'm satisfied.
    Domani ho un'esame, se capita metterò comunque Something.
  15. Allanon

    Allanon Senior Member

    E' una eccezione . Tutto spiegato nei libri di grammatica.
  16. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
  17. JohninVirginia Senior Member

    USA/ English
    This is a difficult question for me, a native speaker of AE without a grammar background.
    Leo gave a very good response. But there may be more to it.

    First, I would have answered as you... "Have you any apples?"

    I think that maybe the difference between "any" and "some" in this case is that "any" means "in whatever quantity, great or small" according to - this could mean one or more - whereas "some" means an unspecified but plural number - two or more. If I had one apple, I would not say, "Yes, I have some apples".

    So if I want to know if there is any cheese in the fridge, it means any cheese - even the smallest amount conceivable. But if I want to know if there is some cheese in the fridge, I want to know if there is an amount that would be of interest to me, such as a reasonable portion.

    I am sort of thinking of this as I go, so this may not be quite right. I hope it helps and maybe someone else can add to it.


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