Which one is correct:

There is some difference?

There is any difference?

If both, what is the difference?

  • Those sentences should be Is there some difference? and Is there any difference? The first tends to be used when we suspect there is a difference but we are not sure what it is (is there some difference, then?). The second is the basic form, I would say. – user339660 Jul 11 at 13:59
  • 1
    @Minty No, they shouldn't, those are declarative questions, they basically convey surprise.. e.g. someone says "Don't worry about the difference between bla bla bla" and you say "there is some difference?". It's quite informal I guess but saying "is there some difference?" would make no sense as they've already told you that so it would be dumb to ask like that. – user354316 Jul 11 at 14:11
  • 6
    One issue here is that the idiomatic way of asking the question is simply "There's a difference?!" without using some or any at all. – Andrew Leach Jul 11 at 14:19
  • 1
    A great deal depends on how they are pronounced. This is entirely rhetorical in print, but in speech stress and intonation are important. Also, it's not clear how the italicized words are to be pronounced -- is this just to point out the difference, or does it indicate stress? – John Lawler Jul 11 at 14:30
  • 2
    I think if you want to change the question you should change the question, not bury it in a comment, and then (as a matter of courtesy) comment on the existing answer if your revised question invalidates it. Prof Lawler's comment is valid. With regards to people, the question would almost certainly be "There are people?" with no quantifier at all and a surprised stress on people; some might be used if there are people but you can't see them, but that's an extra word which isn't really needed. – Andrew Leach Jul 11 at 14:33

We use some in a question when we think the answer will be 'yes'. On the other hand we use any when we think the answer will be 'no'.

  • 2
    I think this sort of "declarative" question is actually rhetorical, and doesn't expect an answer at all. – Andrew Leach Jul 11 at 14:18
  • @AndrewLeach yeah, I think you are right, it could expect an answer in similar cases, I think. – user354316 Jul 11 at 14:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.