1. Will you give me some clarification of your behavior.

2. Will you give me any clarification of your behavior.

Is it possible to use the first alternative, i.e. with "some". I was taught that there are some restrictions regarding using "some" in the clauses before the countable nouns in singular. (I suppose that the noun "clarification" is countable.) So when you say "I gave the money to some man" it is supposed to mean that I am not interested in the personality of the man. He is irrelevant for me. Does not have by chance the first question (with "some") the same connotation?

  • As long as you can replace "some" with "some kind of", meaning unspecified. This fits into your examples. Also using some is a bit softer than any, which is more directly pulling for what it modifies. – user3169 Aug 8 '15 at 17:13

First, in the context of your sentences, 'clarification' isn't countable. It's like "some food" or "any food" ("..for thought", for instance).

Second, as I read them, the sentences have slightly different meaning, and I'm going to try to explain. When asking for "some clarification", "some" pertains mostly to the amount, i.e. not a whole lot, but at least a little. When asking for "any clarification" the one who asks emphasizes mostly that the clarification is necessary, that without clarification the behavior is perhaps impossible to comprehend. The amount and kind of clarification are not important, and furthermore "any" usually implies that the asking person will be satisfied by sheer fact of having been given an explanation (clarification).

As justifications for asking I can think of two different continuations to these sentences. In the former case ("some") the questioner might give the example of what clarification they are looking for. In the latter case ("any") the questioner might just prop the question up with "I am totally baffled by your outburst" (or whatnot).

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