a sentence from the textbook "the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language", page 382:
(1) Come on, anyone, join me up here on the stage.

my variant:
(2) Come on, someone, join me up here on the stage.

Is (2) correct?
If not, then why not?
If it is, then what's the difference between (1) and (2)?
If there is no difference, then what's special in this sentence that we can use both "some" and "any" in it without changing the meaning?

  • Why do you think there's a difference?
    – Stuart F
    Feb 3 at 13:40
  • It's acceptable in a casual spoken context, but neither is 100% "grammatical" to me. Both anyone and someone are being used here as "terms of address" standing in for whoever the speaker is talking to (as per "Hello, John!"). But you can't say "Hello, anyone!" or "Hello, someone!". There's no problem with most "non-address" forms though: "Will someone / anyone help?" is fine, and both versions mean the same. But note that whereas "Someone rang the doorbell" is fine, "Anyone rang the doorbell" is not idiomatic. Feb 3 at 14:27
  • The exact dividing line between where a noun phrase identifying a specific person can be used, and where it "can't" is somewhat ill-defined. For example, greeting someone with "Hello, you" is imho at the margins of "syntactic acceptability". And "But look you, this is important!" is dialectal (especially, Irish), whereas there's nothing remotely substandard about "But look John, this is important!" Feb 3 at 14:37
  • "Anyone" and "someone" show no real semantic difference in "Come on, anyone/someone, join me up here on the stage".
    – BillJ
    Feb 3 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


In this context, 'someone' means 'a person from among the audience' and 'anyone' emphasises 'any person (it doesn't matter who)'. Both are possible and mean much the same.

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