Good morning! Did anyone guess this week’s grammar lesson based on yesterday’s theme introduction post?
Today, we are talking about the difference between some, any, no, and every. Sometimes students do not pay enough attention to these words, preferring to focus on the “hard things,” like verb tenses. That would be a mistake! Using these small words correctly will make a big difference in how well your English sounds, because these words are used very often. And once you understand these four small words, you will be able to use all of the following words correctly as well.
- some, somebody, someone, somewhere, something
- any, anybody, anyone, anywhere, anything
- no, none, nobody, nowhere, nothing
- every, everybody, everyone, everything
Today, we will concentrate on the four basic words of every, no, any, and some, and tomorrow, we will practice using all of the words above. So, let’s get to work!
Every is probably the easiest to understand. Every means all. It is usually used in positive sentences, but can also be used in negative. Let’s look as some examples:
- Did you win every game?
- I won every game!
- I did very well in my tennis match, but I did not win every point.
- You didn’t win every point, did you? That’s almost impossible!
Some is used to mean a part, or portion. It can be used with countable nouns (usually two or more), but it is not specific! It is used when the speaker does not know or does not need to use an exact number. Notice that in the photo above, the quantity in the circle is blurry, or not clear.
Some is used in positive sentences, so if not is used, some is not used. Some is often used in questions when an unknown quantity of an item is being offered or asked for. Here are some examples:
- Some of the people who were watching the match left early, but some people stayed until the end.
- I watched some of the French Open matches yesterday, but I did not see all of them.
- Did you spend some time watching tennis yesterday?
- Can we have some more tennis balls, please?
- Would you like to play some tennis this week?
I usually tell my students that they can think of any as meaning at least/even one or even a little bit. Any, like some, is not specific amount, but can be used with countable and countable nouns. The main difference between some and any is that any is used in negative sentences. The exception to that is in questions that imply if.
I did not win any games. = I did not win even one game. = I lost every game.
- I do not have any ping pong paddles.
- Did you bring any tennis balls?
- She doesn’t have any tennis shoes with her, so she can’t play with us.
- Do you see any people using the ping-pong tables?
No and none are the opposite of every, or zero, or not any. Because no or none means not any, they are the only negative word we need to include in our sentence. This difference between no and none is that none is a pronoun, so it can replace a noun and/or be the subject in a sentence. With no, you must have a separate noun or subject in your sentence. None can be used with singular or plural verbs.
- I won no games yesterday. = I did not win any games yesterday.
- Question: How did your games go? Reply: None of them went well.
- None of my friends play tennis.
- I have no friends that play tennis.
- Question: Are there any rackets on sale? Reply: No, there are none on sale.
Examples from yesterday’s post
Yesterday’s post used many of the words that contain some, any, no, and every. Here are couple examples that used only the root words:
- I would also like to play badminton during the summer, but I don’t have any of the equipment.
- Are there any other racket sports that you would play or would like to try this summer?
- I am trying to find some time to play with friends this week.
Practice time! Fill in the blank with the correct word. Choose between every, some, any, and no/none. Answers are found below.
- To be a good player, you have to practice ________ week.
- Do you have ________ friends you can practice tennis with?
- My friends play ping-pong, but I do not have ________ paddles, so I can’t play.
- I saw ________ people playing ping-pong at the park yesterday.
- I enjoy playing ________ type of sport.
- There are ________ courts available.
- ________ court is being used.
- ________ of the ping-pong tables are open right now.
- Would you like ________ time on the court?
- There are not ________ paddles left, so you have to wait until the next game.
- To be a good player, you have to practice every week.
- Do you have any friends you can practice tennis with?
- My friends play ping-pong, but I do not have any paddles, so I can’t play.
- I saw some people playing ping-pong at the park yesterday.
- I enjoy playing every type of sport.
- There are no courts available.
- Every court is being used.
- None of the ping-pong tables are open right now.
- Would you like some time on the court? Would you like any time on the court? is also correct.
- There are not any paddles left, so you have to wait until the next game.
To summarize all we have learned, review the following image. For a larger view, click on the image.
Thanks for stopping by. See you again tomorrow. Have a great day!