I saw this question on a test:

"I don't think there's _________ home."

One has to put a word in the empty space. So I thought to myself: someone or anyone?

On one hand, my first reaction was to say "I don't think there's anyone home." because negative and question sentences are usually made with "any".

On the other hand, there are two simple sentences in the big one: "I don't think" and "there's ______ home". And usually, the second sentence is in postive form (like in "Tell me where the car is."). So it must be "I don't think there's someone home.". Since the question was on a test, there's only one possible answer but I feel that both are correct (with a slight difference in meaning). The question was independent, there were no surrounding sentences to give context. Which one is the correct choice and why?

1 Answer 1


A. "I don't think there's anyone home."

Because we do not know how many people are "at home". Someone would be specifically meaning just one person.

Anyone, anybody and anything are indefinite pronouns. We use anyone, anybody and anything to refer to both an open, unlimited set of things or people and specific things or people. We use them with a singular verb: Ref C.E.D

someone; pronoun; used to refer to a single person when you do not know who they are or when it is not important who they are:

Someone was walking towards the house

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