It would be correct to use "something" un the sentence like:

She has rung you up to tell that she has found out something about it.

I'd better put "anything" instead of using "something" in order to convey the meaning of the following sentence correctly:

I wanted to find out anything about him.

Wouldn't it?

  • 1
    I've changed your tag: anything and something aren't gerunds but compounds of any and some with thing. Jul 29, 2017 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


No. Anything in that sense is a negative polarity item, so it can only occur in negative or interrogative contexts.

You can say

I didn't find out anything about him. (negative)


Did you find out anything about him? (interrogative)

but not

*I found out anything about him

[There is another meaning of anything which is not limited to negative contexts, where it means something, it doesn't matter what. For example:

Find out anything about him!

But that's usually inconsistent with a past affirmative.]


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .