Some, any and no article

(Grammar Practice Worksheet.)

We use some with countable or uncountable nouns to refer to a relatively small number or amount. We use this word to indicate the number or amount in a general way. The number or amount is not stated because we don't know what it is, or we don't really mind what it is. The word has a positive feel to it. Here are some example sentences.

  • I bought some flowers and took them home to my wife.
  • I met some interesting people when I was in Paris.
  • Some of the petrol was dirty and that was why the car didn't run smoothly.
  • Some furniture was damaged in the fire.

We use any in much the same way, again because we don't know or care what the exact number or amount is. However, there are two important differences. The word tends to have a negative feel to it and it is often used with words like not, didn't, wasn't, couldn't, shouldn't, mustn't and so on. It is also often used in questions. Here are some example sentences:

  • I didn't see any mangoes in the market.
  • You mustn't put any hot oil in that saucepan.
  • He looked carefully but he couldn't find any beer in the garage.
  • Have you seen any foxes in your back garden?
  • Have you got any money? Yes, I have some. No, I haven't got any.
  • I don't have any time today but I'll have some time tomorrow.

We use no article at all when we are referring to a particular group or class of things. We also do this when we don't know or care how many of those countable or uncountable nouns there are.

  • Judges should be well educated but they are often old-fashioned.
  • I like animals, but sheep are rather smelly.
  • The shop sells petrol and it also sells food and newspapers and things like that.
  • I think that education in China has changed a lot over the last 10 years.

Notice that sometimes a speaker/writer can choose two or more of these (some/any/no article) and they could all be correct. Here are two examples.

  • I believe that (some or --) education is important for everyone on Earth.

  • If you have (some or any or --) sense, you'll leave us alone!

Complete these sentences using some, any or no article at all.

  1. I believe that ......... people enjoy having fun.
  2. The minister says that ......... trade is one way to build the economy.
  3. They don't sell ......... fruit at the shop but they have ......... vegetables.
  4. The book says that they eat ......... leaves but I think they eat ......... fruit too.
  5. It says here that ......... rice is grown in Asia.
  6. If you don't eat ......... food you'll be hungry by lunchtime.
  7. Have you ever read ......... books by Ian McEwan?
  8. I don't think he had ......... reason to shout at me like that.
  9. I enjoy ......... wine but ......... beer gives me a headache.
  10. I love ......... dofu. Is there ......... dofu left?

Complete this paragraph using some or any or no article.

Global warming will probably have serious consequences. In the future, ......... temperatures will rise and the results will be uncertain. It may mean that ......... deserts become drier. It may mean that ......... oceans rise and ......... small islands are flooded. In addition, ......... areas of low land may also be flooded. The loss of land will force ......... people to move to new areas. This may cause many problems. Will there be ......... easy answers? Probably not. In ......... areas, people will be welcomed; in other areas ...... people will not be welcomed. Governments will have to take ......... difficult decisions. They will need to start thinking today about how people affect the climate. Governments must act! If they do not take ......... decisions, things will only get worse. It's essential to take ......... action, now. Similarly, we need to take ......... action too. Turn off ......... lights, turn down the heaters, turn down the air-conditioning.

Completed paragraph:

Global warming will probably have serious consequences. In the future, (no article) temperatures will rise and the results will be uncertain. It may mean that (some or no article) deserts become drier. It may mean that (no article) oceans rise and some small islands are flooded. In addition, (no article is possible but probably some) areas of low land may also be flooded. The loss of land will force (some or no article) people to move to new areas. This may cause many problems. Will there be any easy answers? Probably not. In some areas, (some is possible but probably no article) people will be welcomed; in other areas (some is possible but probably no article) people will not be welcomed. Governments will have to take (some or no article) difficult decisions. They will need to start thinking today about how (no article) people affect the climate. Governments must act! If they do not take (some) important decisions, things will only get worse. It's essential to take (some or no article) action, now. Similarly, we need to take (some or no article) action too. Turn off some lights, turn down the heaters, turn down the air-conditioning. Act now!


 

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