Date: 04 Aug 2012

Quantifiers: any, some, much, many, much, each, every etc.

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quantifiers used with countable and uncountable nouns

The table lists words that indicate an indefinite quantity. These are words that you can generally use with countable (1.6) and uncountable nouns (1.8) in a research paper. Note however that the expressions with a piece of are not commonly used in research papers.

any versus some

The following rules apply to any and some and derivatives (e.g. something, anywhere, anyone)

  1. As a general rule any is used in negative phrases and some in affirmative phrases.

  2. Not … any = zero, not … some = not all.

  3. Any is used to indicate doubt, we are not sure whether the event will take place or not.

  4. If you use any in a sentence that contains no negation and which is not covered by Rule 3, then it means ‘one thing or person at random from all the individuals in the world’. some and someone mean one particular thing or person, although exactly what or who is not important.

  5. Any is used in questions where the answer is not known; some is used in question ...