I'm learning English dialogue according to EnglishPod. There is a sentence:

But there must be some mistake; my reservation was for a standard room.

  1. Why isn't the plural form of "mistake" here?
  2. my reservation was a standard room. Can I remove the for? What's wrong with saying that?
  • 2
    There must be some mistake is a fixed phrase used to save face and avoid accusing one's addressee of making the mistake. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 4:45
  • Also why do you assume that must be multiple mistakes to end up with a room mix-up?
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 6:28
  • 1
    @Jim I assume (not to suggest that you may not) that the OP understands some as a quantifier. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 7:11
  • @JimReynolds - Ahh. You’re probably right. That never occured to me
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 7:14
  • @Yuj Welcome to ELU StackExchange. As you are an English learner, you may wish to ask your quesion on the English Language Learner's SE site. You should ask two separate questions. You should include information that explains why you have your questions. If you have not looked up some in a dictionary, you should first do so. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


some is a determiner that helps specify the following noun. Part of the discussion is found in:


Strong form of some:

The strong form of some is stressed. This form contrasts with others or all or enough:

Why do some people live longer than other people? (some, not others)

Some boys went to the front of the stage to get a better view. The rest of us couldn’t see a thing. (some, not all)

There were some cakes left but not enough for everyone. (some, but not enough)

We can use this strong form to refer to someone or something particular but unknown, especially with singular countable nouns:

There must be some way of opening this printer!

Some idiot driver crashed into the back of me.

Or, in your question, … must be some mistake.

Similarly, in mathematics we might say There must be some solution to this problem.

In this usage some is implying at least one, or one or more.

The second part of your question is more trivial: a reservation is not a room. You should say for so as to express the purpose of the reservation.


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