Something, anything, nothing, etc.


some- in affirmative sentences

We normally use something, somebody/someone, somewhere in affirmative sentences.

  • Look! There’s something under that chair.
  • Somebody called you yesterday.

any- in negative and interrogative sentences

We use anything, anybody/anyone, anywhere in negative sentences and questions.

  • There isn’t anybody in the house.
  • Is there anybody here?

But we often use something, somebody/someone, somewhere in requests and in offers, i.e. when we ask for smething or offer something to someone.

  • Can somebody help me?
  • Would you like something to eat?

no- with affirmative verbs

We use nobody/no one, nothing, nowhere in sentences with an affirmative verb.

  • The sun was in my eyes and I could see nobody. (NOT I couldn’t see nobody.)
  • ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Nowhere.’

every- means ‘all’

We use everybody/everyone, everything, everywhere when we mean ‘all the people’, ‘all the things’ or ‘(in) all the places’.

  • Everybody in my class has passed the exam.’
  • ‘From the top of the mountain we could see everything.’
  • ‘There were insects everywhere.’

Singular verbs

We use singular verbs with all these words.

  • Everything is expensive nowadays.
  • Everyone was tired.
  • Has someone seen my glasses

Something, anyone, nowhere, etc. + adjective

We can use an adjective (nice, wrong, etc.) after somethinganything, etc.

  • Can’t we go somewhere quiet?
  • I didn’t do anything wrong.

Something, anyone, nowhere, etc. + to infinitive

We can use to + infinitive after somethinganything, etc.

  • We didn’t have anywhere to go
  • I need something to do.  I’m bored. 

Exercise on the theme:

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