Is there someone you hate?

Vibrato

Banned
Greek
Hello. In a situation when I have no idea at all if the person I am talking to hates anyone or not (and I am wondering if there is anyone he hates), can I say "Is there someone you hate" instead of "Is there anyone you hate"? I know that I can say "Is there someone you hate" in a situation when I suspect that the person I am talking to hates a person. But can I say it when I don't have any idea if there is someone he hates either?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In this particular context, someone would imply “Is there a particular individual that you hate?”, while anyone would imply “Do you hate anybody at all?”.
     

    Vibrato

    Banned
    Greek
    In this particular context, someone would imply “Is there a particular individual that you hate?”, while anyone would imply “Do you hate anybody at all?”.
    So, can I say "Is there someone you hate" instead of "Is there anyone you hate" even if I don't suspect at all that there is someone that person I am talking to hates.
     

    Vibrato

    Banned
    Greek
    I agree with Englishmypassion in post #5.

    In your context, "Is there anyone you hate?" would be the more natural question to ask.
    But people always say "Do you have a girlfriend" instead of "Do you have any girlfriend" even if they don't have any idea if the person they are talking to has a girlfriend or not. Why? Because of the fact that people normally don't have more than one/a girlfriend?
     

    Vibrato

    Banned
    Greek
    I agree with Englishmypassion in post #5.

    In your context, "Is there anyone you hate?" would be the more natural question to ask.
    Also do you think that "Is there someone you hate" would be unnatural, or do you think that it is just like less natural but still usable?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    But people always say "Do you have a girlfriend" instead of "Do you have any girlfriend"
    This is a different question and should be asked in a separate thread.

    Also do you think that "Is there someone you hate" would be unnatural, or do you think that it is just like less natural but still usable?
    It might be usable in the context suggested by Englishmypassion, but it would be less likely, and unnatural in your context. There seems to be little point in using an unlikely and unnatural sentence when a perfectly good natural sentence can be made from it by changing one word.
     

    Vibrato

    Banned
    Greek
    This is a different question and should be asked in a separate thread.



    It might be usable in the context suggested by Englishmypassion, but it would be less likely, and unnatural in your context. There seems to be little point in using an unlikely and unnatural sentence when a perfectly good natural sentence can be made from it by changing one word.
    Thanks. I think that "any vs a" question is very much related to the "someone vs anyone" question. I would like you to answer here. :)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Is there someone here that you hate?
    Is there anyone here that you hate?
    Ae there some/any people here that you hate?


    Do you have a girlfriend here? Do you have some girlfriend (or other) here?
    Do you have any girlfriends here? Do you have some girlfriends here?

    The only connection I can see is that there is (or rather there could be) a small difference in meaning between "some" and "any", in both cases.

    I wouldn't use "any" for a singular countable noun in this question:

    Do you have a girlfriend? Do you have a credit card?
    Do you have any girlfriends/credit cards? Do you have any money?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm losing track a bit in this thread:(.

    But going back to the original question in post 1:
    "Is there someone you hate?" expects the answer "yes"
    whereas
    "Is there anyone you hate?" is an open question.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm losing track a bit in this thread:(.

    But going back to the original question in post 1:
    "Is there someone you hate?" expects the answer "yes"
    whereas
    "Is there anyone you hate?" is an open question.
    That's an excellent point, Loob.

    There's a limit to the amount of guidance that can be given, especially in these 'iffy' contexts. 'Usage' can be quite complicated when you get beyond the well-established 'grammar' guidelines and this is especially true of 'some' and 'any', with the question and negative special patterns, hard enough to master even at relatively low stages.
    We need a detailed context to give our best advice.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think that "any vs a" question is very much related to the "someone vs anyone" question. I would like you to answer here.
    The two issues are not related. :D Nobody asks 'Have you got any girlfriend?' or 'some girlfriend'.
    Start a new thread for 'any vs a'.
     
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