1) We use “some” in affirmative sentences and questions with plural and uncountable nouns when we talk about limited, but indefinite, or unknown numbers or qualities of things.


- Some furniture arrived for you this morning. (not Furniture arrived…)

- Would you like to hear some good news? (not…to hear good news)

2) We use “some” to talk about particular, but unspecified, people or things.


- Some teachers never seem to get bored with being in the classroom. (= but not all)

- I enjoy some modern music. (= but not all)

3) We use “some” before a number to mean ‘approximately’.


- Some 80% of all those eligible took part in the vote. (= approximately 80%)

- There were some 20, 000 people at the protest march. (= approximately 20, 000)

4) When we want to emphasize that we can’t say exactly which person or thing we are talking about because we don’t know or can’t remember, we use “some” instead of “a/an” with a singular noun.

Example: I was asked a really difficult question by some student in class two.

NOTE: We can use the phrase “some (thing) or other” in a similar way.

Example: I bought them from some shop or other in the High Street. (not…from a shop or other)


We use “zero article” with uncountable and plural nouns when we talk generally about people or things.


- I always like getting good news. (= good news in general)

- Furniture is a costly item when you are setting up a home. (= furniture in general)

- Teachers like having long holidays. (= all teachers)

- I enjoy modern music. (= modern music in general)

NOTE: We sometimes use “some / zero article” with very little difference in meaning.


- ‘Where were you last week?’ ‘I was visiting (some) friends.’

- Before serving, pour (some) yoghurt over the top.

- It’ll be cold up in the hills, so bring (some) warm clothes.

* It makes little difference whether we are referring to particular friends (with some) or friends in general (with zero article); or whether we are referring to a limited but indefinite amount of yoghurt (with some) or yoghurt in general (with zero article).