Unstressed ‘

Grammatically speaking, ‘any’ is a which means that it informs us about the quantity of a noun or noun phrase. It can be used with both and .

  • There aren’t any people in the room.
  • There isn’t any sugar in the bowl.

We use ‘any’ only with negative and interrogative verb forms.

  • There aren’t any toys in the box
  • Are there any toys in the box?

We do not use ‘any’ with affirmative verb forms.

  • There are any some / toys in the box.

Stressed ‘Any’

When the word ‘any’ is stressed, it can mean unlimited quantity.

  • He doesn’t drink any wine. (he dislikes all wines)
  • You can choose any film. (the choice is unlimited)

No

In affirmative sentences we can use ‘some’ to indicate a positive quantity or ‘no’ to indicate a zero quantity.

  • There are some cars on the road.
  • There is some coffee in the pot.
  • There are no good programmes on TV.
  • There is no milk in the fridge.

So, when talking about a lack of something, a zero quantity, we can use ‘any’ with negative sentences while we use ‘no’ with positive sentences.

  • There wasn’t any bread in the bakers.
  • There was no bread in the bakers.

This is because in English (unlike in ) you cannot have a double negative.

  • There wasn’t no bread

Common error

  • I have any time.

In affirmative sentences you must use either: not … any or no.

  • I haven’t got any time or I have no time.