1

Well, these two words drive me crazy every time I try to chew the cud in order to draw a clear line between them. ANY and SOME. Please consider the following:

  1. If you have any/some money, please let me know.

  2. Do you know anyone/someone here?

  3. If anyone/someone knocks at the door, what will you do?

  4. If you talk to anyone/someone, stare into their eyes!

Which ones are right, guys? If there is a sentence in which those two are acceptable, please tell me the reason.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jul 29 at 12:29

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  • Eye contact is good, staring at someone's eyes is not. – nnnnnn Jul 27 at 3:00
  • Maybe because I'm sleep deprived due to the heat, but I don't understand what the S represents in the question title. – Mari-Lou A Jul 27 at 6:06
  • 2
    "Do you know anyone here?" = is there any person present whom you recognise? "Do you know someone here?" = Is there a particular person here who is known to you? – Kate Bunting Jul 27 at 7:43
  • @Mari-LouA well, it stands for "subject" – Fadli Sheikh Jul 27 at 8:20
  • 2
    Have you looked at the list of related questions on the right? You would say "If you have any X" if you did not know whether the person had any or not. – Kate Bunting Jul 27 at 8:29
1

The difference between "any" and "some" is the implied focus.

With "any", in the first two examples, the focus is on quantity. With "some", the focus is on the object of "some". "Do you know anyone here?" is asking about YOU. The focus is on your knowledge. "Do you know someone here?" focuses the next sentence on that someone.

With examples 3 and 4, the two words are interchangeable. Example 4, as a commenter noted, might be bad advice for many English-speaking social situations.

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