Some vs. Any

Uncountable and plural nouns are often used either with some/any or with no article. Usually there is no difference of meaning.

  • I need (some) writing paper.
  • Have you got (any) rice?

The difference

We use some/any when we are talking about limited but rather indefinite number or quantities. We use no article when we are thinking about unlimited numbers or quantities, or not thinking about numbers/quantities at all.


  • We have bought some eggs. (Limited quantity)
  • Do you like eggs? (No idea of number)
  • Is there any milk in the bottle? (Limited quantity)
  • Milk has a sweet taste. (No idea of quantity)
  • We bought a lot of apples yesterday.
  • Apples are red. (General statement)
  • I would like a little coffee, please.
  • We planted some trees in the garden. (Limited number)
  • There were trees on either side of the road. (No idea of number)

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