Which phrase is correct and why? I think "something" is correct because we have a positive sentence not a negative nor a question. As i have seen from the internet (google search) the case with the "anything" is correct. Can anyone explain to me please why is that correct?

  • This depends on the context – marcellothearcane Jul 19 '17 at 9:01
  • Is anything missing to understand the context ? – chaviaras michalis Jul 19 '17 at 9:06
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    Yes, where are you saying this, and what do you want it to mean? Both are okay, depending on the situation. – marcellothearcane Jul 19 '17 at 9:08
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    Without context, I'd say they're both usable but "anything" is more idiomatic, ie more commonly used. – Max Williams Jul 19 '17 at 9:10

Too... to... is a structure which implies a negative. meaning I was too surprise (I can not say anything). hope this help.

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The case with anything is correct.

Your phrase is in fact negative, since "I was too surprised to ..." roughly equates to "Because of my surprise I did not...".

According to Meriam-Webster Dictionary:

something means an unspecified thing


anything means any thing whatever

Saying you were "too surprised to say something" technically means that there was a particular unspecified thing you did not say, when to be precise there were many possible things you might have said and you did not say any of them.

"I was too surprised to say anything" is more accurate, as not saying any thing whatever is equivalent to saying nothing at all.

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