Gain confidence with the differences between these words

Much and Little

With uncountable nouns to talk about a quantity of something

Many and few

With plural nouns to talk about a number of people or things


Negative sentences and questions

A lot of

Affirmative sentences

More and less

Uncountable nouns

More and fewer

With plural countable nouns


  • Some Refers to an indefinite quantity. Used when it is not easy or important to specify the quantity.

I need to buy some new clothes

  • Some is used in affirmative clauses ,when we expect or want to encourage the answer to be yes.

Have you brought some paper and a pen?

  • Any is used in questions and negatives after words with a negative or limited meaning e.g. never, hardly, without, little

You never give me any help

  • Both some and any can be used within If clauses

If you want some/any help let me know!

There are occasions when 'some' can be used in both a positive and negative way.  Under these circumstances stress is placed on the word 'some' to highlight the meaning.

There has been some change.  

Indicating that there has been a little change but maybe not as much as expected.  Often used when referring to health, behaviour or finances.

Choose between some/any

I'm very thirsty.  I'd like some/any water please.

It’s a long journey, so we need to get some/any petrol

There isn't some/any coffee in the house.

We haven't got some/any milk.

Do you want some/any toast for breakfast?

I haven't got some/any money

Butter yes
Cream No
Bread No
Milk Yes
Lettuce Yes
Tomatoes Yes
Meat No
Olives Yes

Is there any butter?  Yes there is

Is there any cream?  No there isn't.

Continue writing sentences like these.

Portion quantities

I'd like a slice/piece/cup of coffee please.

I will have a glass/slice/spoon of cheese in my sandwich.

I've just put 20 pieces/litres/slices of petrol in my car.


For the answers click here.

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