I was reading my English textbook and found written "some thing" in a sentence. Is there any difference between "something" and "some thing"? Is it a misprint or true? Here is the sentence:

Hunger means, when you have had some thing to eat at least as much again.

(from essay: Hunger and Population Explosion by Anna Mckenzie)

Which one will be correct in this context? Some thing or something

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    This is evidently a pretty poor textbook, since I can't even figure out what that sentence is trying to convey. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 16:24
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    @Matt - That sentence was not written by the author of the book; it was a sample excerpt taken from an outside source. That said, I agree with your assessment – it's not an exemplary sentence unless the authors and editors were looking for samples of poor writing.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


Most of the time, there is no difference. "Some thing" is much much less common than "something", however, so the only reason to write it as two separate words is to emphasize the "some" part (in contrast to "any" or "no" thing):

I want to get her some thing for Valentines Day, but not just anything. It has to be something she would like.

Another possibility is that the writer uses separate words to emphasize the "thing" part (in contrast to some one). To quote Jim Carrey quoting Shatner from an old "Twilight Zone":

There's someone on the wing! Some ... thing!

Still, it is rare and the example you quote is more likely a typo than intentional.

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    A similar case is maybe verses may be. In both cases the words were used together so much, writers ended up treating the word pairs as single words. Yet cases exist where we still need to treat them as separate words. It may be true, but I don't want to believe it. or Some one is at my door, but some thing is in my closet. // Check the ngram for any thing, anything if you want to see a word pair die.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 17:19
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    @RichF Yes, good point. Some thing might be used to emphasize the "thing" part. I'll edit my answer to include this.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 17:28

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