Negative Sentences

Compare the sentences: b) Come nowhere near me! and b) Don’t come, anywhere near me!

Both are grammatically correct, but the not . . . any form is I lie normal one for ordinary unemphatic statements, whereas the no forms are chiefly used as short negative answers. The same refers to the pair neither — not … either.

Exercise. Reword the following statements or answer the questions in the negative.

Examples: We have no money to buy it – We don’t have any money to buy it. Where are you going? – Nowhere.

1. I have no time to help you. 2. There is no more sugar. 3. I can see my hat nowhere. 4. How many exercises have you done today? 5. How much did these flowers cost? 6. They want nothing to eat. 7. Who told you to do that? 8. Which of these two books have you read? 9. They’re dirty; I want neither of them. 10. I spoke to no one except you. 11. I’ll speak neither to him nor to his wife. 12. My car needs no new tyres. 13. What did you see when you opened the door? 14. I’ve been nowhere else. 15. Where did you two go last night?

We hope that you remember the basic pattern: affirmative sentences — some, i nterrogative and negative sentences — any. I did some work today. I didn’t do any work today. Did you do any work today?

However, there are cases when some should be used in ques­tions and any in affirmative sentences. The following explanation will help you to choose the correct word.

The meaning of some is ‘particular’ or ‘known’; of any is ‘general’, ‘whatever/whichever you like’. Consider the sentence: You may come to see me any day, but you must come some day. From this developed the use of some for affirmative statements, and any for the vague and unknown. In questions the use of some or any depends on the expected or implied reply: a) Didn’t you do any work yesterday? = I thought you did, but apparently 1 was wrong, b) Didn’t you do some work yesterday? = / feel cer­tain you did.

Exercise. Insert some or anywhere required.

1. Will you have . . . more tea? 2. Won’t you have . . . more cake? (What are the implications of some or any here?) 3. Did you go … where last night? 4. You’re expecting … one to call, aren’t you? 5. Haven’t I given you . . . money this week? I must have forgotten all about you! 6. Can you give me … more in­formation? 7. Are you expecting … one else? If not, we’ll go … where for a drink. 8. What is the use of practising . . . more verbs? 9. These aren’t my books. Did I take … of yours by mis­take?