I thought the right answer was using "anywhere" because that what we use in negative sentences and questions but it turned out that it is "somewhere exciting" not "anywhere exciting"! The question is why?

  1. Did you go somewhere exciting at the weekend?
  2. Did you go anywhere exciting at the weekend?

What if the answer to the question is negative. How would you say that?

I did not go "anywhere exciting" at the weekend.

  • 3
    I think both sentences are possible but have slightly different meaning. – snailcar Dec 18 '13 at 7:22
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    By the way, your profile says that you speak and are especially interested in North American English. We don't usually say at the weekend in American English; I think it's used mainly in British English. In this particular case, I'd say over the weekend, personally. – snailcar Dec 18 '13 at 7:24
  • Won't it be the last weekend since it's did? – Maulik V Dec 18 '13 at 7:24
  • Some v Any - data.grammarbook.com/blog/definitions/some-v-any. Nevertheless, I prefer Did you go to any/some exciting place last weekend? with the answer No, I didn't. – Maulik V Dec 18 '13 at 7:30
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    @learner Any is associated with a lack of assertion, not a negative assertion. – snailcar Dec 18 '13 at 8:44

Both sentences are perfectly correct. They have a slightly different connotation however.

"Did you go somewhere exciting at the weekend?"

The somewhere in this sentence suggests to me that you are certain that they went out, but you are asking if the place to which they went was exciting.

You might use this form if the person usually went places, or perhaps they are sunburned or look hungover or some other thing that you're sure they didn't just stay at home.

"Did you go anywhere exciting at the weekend?"

The anywhere in this sentence suggests to me that you are uncertain about both whether they went out at all, and whether it was exciting if they did go out.

Note: I am a speaker of British English so there may be other subtle difference to a US speaker of which I am unaware. Additionally, I have seen "at the weekend" used quite a lot in English textbooks for non-English speakers, but I would say that "on the weekend", "over the weekend" or "last weekend" are probably the more common ways to say it for a native speaker.

  • Thanks @Big Luke Could you please confirm that "on the weekend" is more common than "at the weekend" in British English? If so, is that because of AmE influence I've read about it in Swan's and on the Internet? – learner Dec 28 '13 at 7:46
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    @learner In the British National Corpus (BNC), I find 705 results for at the weekend and only 75 results for on the weekend. – snailcar Dec 29 '13 at 11:50
  • Thanks for the corpora @snailboat You may want to know that you hooked me into using Coca. Could "Big Luke" be talking about spoken BrE? because that's where the change begins and where I barely know, if at all. – learner Dec 29 '13 at 13:09
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    @learner Both BNC and COCA contain some speech, and in both cases you can query only speech, if you like--click "SPOKEN" on the left-hand side. When I do so, I find 99 results for at the weekend and only 10 results for on the weekend. – snailcar Dec 29 '13 at 13:14
  • That's what I exactly got before you've written your last comment. – learner Dec 29 '13 at 13:16

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