We use A and An with singular countable nouns, whereas we use Some and Any with plural countable and uncountable nouns.
An can only be used with a noun that starts with a vowel sound. Be careful here, notice how I have said a vowelsound, therefore we don’t use An with any noun that begins with a vowel. This means that An can be used with nouns that start with H such as hour, honour for example. It also means that not all nouns that begin with a vowel require An, they may actually require A such as the noun utopia or university.
Here are a list of nouns used with A:
- a table
- a pillow
- a university
- a cake
- a bed
- a utopia
Here are a list of nouns used with An:
- an oven
- an orange
- an honour
- an invention
- an hour
- an evening
Here are examples of how we use A and An in a sentence:
- There is a university close to here.
- The movie starts in an hour.
- There is an octopus in the water.
- The new house doesn’t have an oven but it has a washing machine.
- I need an umbrella, it’s raining outside.
Some is used with plural countable and uncountable nouns and usually in positive sentences, whereas Any is used mostly in negative sentences with a plural countable or uncountable noun. I have given you a list of examples below to understand more clearly.
Here are sentences using Some:
- There are some chocolates in the fridge.
- I have some homework to do.
- There are some toys for the kids in the playroom.
- Do you have some money?
- They have some very good books in the library.
Here are sentences using Any:
- I don’t have any pictures in my new house.
- They don’t have any friends in the new city.
- Do you have any presents for your parents?
- There isn’t any ice cream in the freezer.
- He doesn’t have any grey hair yet.
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