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“Any” and “Some” as Root Words

In an earlier post, I explained that the word “any” should only be used in negative statements that also have the word “not.” (Example: There aren’t any Spanish lessons on the Magoosh website.) I also showed you that the word “some” can only appear in statements that are positive and lack the word “not.” (Example: There are some English lessons on the Magoosh website.) On their own, “any” and “some” are adjectives. These two words can also be root words for adverbs and pronouns. Adverbs and pronouns with “any” and “some” as root words follow the same rules as the adjectives “any” and “some.” Below is a chart showing adverbs and pronouns that contain “any” and “some,” with example sentences and example mistakes.


So how can we fix common mistakes related to “any”/”some” adverbs and pronouns? Read on to find out.

Fixes for mistakes with adverbs and pronouns:

1) They looked all around for the treasure, but couldn’t find it somewhere.

Possible corrections:

Use a pronoun with “any” in it instead: They looked all around for the treasure, but couldn’t find it anywhere.

Make the sentence positive: They looked all around for the treasure, and were able to find it somewhere.

2) I met anybody interesting.

Possible corrections:

Use a pronoun with the root word “some” instead: I met somebody interesting.

Make the sentence negative: I didn’t meet anybody interesting.

If you study this post and my earlier post carefully, you should have a pretty good understanding of the rules for using “any” and “some.” The rules seem pretty simple once you learn them. However, like so many seemingly simple rules in English, the rules for “any” and “some” have several exceptions. My next post will look at times that you can break the rules.


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