I have got another test question:

Would you like ..... wine?

  1. any
  2. some

This test assumes that the only correct answer is 'some' and some people argue that the use of 'any' in this sentence is grammatically incorrect.

I think that both 'some' and 'any' is possible there with a difference in the meaning that with 'some' we are expecting answer 'yes' and with 'any' we are not sure if the answer 'yes' or 'no' at all.

I can imagine the following dialog:

Q. Would you like some white wine?
A. No, I don't like white wine.
Q. Would you like some red wine instead?
A. No, I don't like red wine too.
Q. Would you like any wine?
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's another low-quality meaningless "test" question set by an incompetent teacher. For the given context, any and some are equivalent and interchangeable, and it's fatuous to suggest otherwise. Dec 21, 2016 at 21:52
  • @FumbleFingers, I wouldn't bother with these questions but they are posted in public group on a russian social networking site with 16K (and rising) subscribers and people still argue even when you point them to a dictionary page describing use of 'some'/'any'.
    – AlexD
    Dec 22, 2016 at 10:31
  • @AlexD: I think Russian speakers are particularly likely to struggle with articles & determiners in English. Perhaps there's a clear-cut distinction in Russian between their (your?) versions of Have you got some/any vodka?, making it natural to expect a similar distinction to apply in English. Dec 22, 2016 at 14:26
  • @FumbleFingers, Not sure if even some (or any) large quantities of vodka would help here. Russian English learners (and teachers too) are mostly prescriptivists and they relay only on rules, frequently misinterpret and overstretch them, dismissing actual language usage as colloquialisms. Eg. someone cited Murphy EGiU, which says 'We use some in questions when we offer something' , so they argued that it is incorrect to use 'any' in such situation. Another argument was that "Would you like ..." is "affirmative question" (?!) and you can't use 'any' in such context.
    – AlexD
    Dec 23, 2016 at 17:33

4 Answers 4


Interesting question.

Would you like any wine?
Yes, I would like some.

Would you like some wine?
Yes, I would like any some.

I think possibly the "strict" answer is to use "some", however "any" gets used so often that they are understandable and basically interchangeable.

I can envision a stewardess walking down the aisle asking

Would you like any wine?
Would you like some wine?

then running back and delivering a glass of wine.

In the case of

Would you like some more wine?

it's implied you will continue with the same wine

Would you like any more wine?

can mean "Would you like any sort of wine?" and that wine may be different, e.g. a dessert wine after having red wine with your meal.


You are pretty close, but I would make a couple of small changes:

Q. Would you like some white wine?
A. No, I don't like white wine.
Q. Would you like some red wine instead?
A. No, I don't like red wine either.
Q. Do you like any kind of wine?

or for the last sentence:
Q: What would you like?

To clarify, if you are offering, I would stick with Would---some?

"Do you like any kind of wine?" is more of a question about their preferences

I'm not really sure if "Would you like any wine?" is technically ungrammatical or not, but it is definitely non-standard, as Google's NGram Viewer shows. It also just sounds wrong to my native ear.

  • Sorry, but this doesn't really answers my question. I'd like to know if the phrase "Would you like any wine?" is grammatically correct or not.
    – AlexD
    Dec 21, 2016 at 19:47
  • @AlexD check my latest edit
    – Kevin
    Dec 21, 2016 at 19:58
  • Thanks, I checked NGram before asking the question but with less strict query books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – AlexD
    Dec 21, 2016 at 20:03

Some X means part of/an amount of an existing X, but not all of X.

Any X just means pick an X and I don't care where X is or pick an amount of X and I don't care what that amount is.

So you can see how a lot of times they are interchangeable. Some X would be inappropriate if it was not possible to split up X, and when you say some X with a solid object you are implying you will break or cut it up, or otherwise divide it.

You can also see how any is less positive than some given that "no X" is a valid "return value" of any.

A: I would like any money you have. B: Sorry, I don't have any. (You can't be too disappointed because by using any you accounted for the possibility that B didn't have any.)

A: I would like some money. B: Sorry, I don't have any (You might be disappointed here because by saying some you were expecting B to have an amount of money greater than 0.)


I have found following excerpt for a grammar book which exactly answers my question.

Cognitive English Grammar

  • Any explanation for downvote?
    – AlexD
    Dec 22, 2016 at 14:41
  • Pictures of text aren't searchable and folks with vision impairment could have trouble reading this answer. You should at least include the details of the book, page and paragraph where you found the answer.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 7, 2018 at 20:18

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