Some and some of

April 9, 2012pdf

Before a noun with a determiner (articles, demonstratives and possessive pronouns), we use some of. If there is no determiner we use some.

  • Some of my friends live abroad. (NOT Some my friends live abroad.)
  • I have bought some apples. (NOT I have bought some of apples.)
  • Some people want a new system. (NOT Some of people want a new system.)

Some of is also used before a pronoun.

  • Some of us want a new system. (NOT Some us want a new system.)

Nouns can be dropped after some, if the meaning is clear.

  • I have bought too many chocolates. You can have some. (OR You can have some of them.)

Some with singular countable noun

With a singular countable noun, some can refer to an unknown person or thing.

  • Some idiot has let the cat in.
  • There must be some job for me.
  • She is living in some city in Japan.

Some can mean ‘quite a’ in informal American English.

  • It was some evening! (= It was quite an evening.)

Some can also be used to suggest that we do not think much of somebody or something.

  • I don’t want to waste the rest of my life doing some boring jobs.
  • She is going to marry some farmer in Kenya.

Some can be used with a number to suggest that the number is an impressive one.

  • We have already sold some twenty thousand copies of this book.
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