Correct Use of Some Adjectives

Published on Monday, December 25, 2017
Correct Use of Some Adjectives


To express quantity or degree some is used normally in affirmative sentences.
For e.g.:- I will buy some mangoes.
Some is used in questions which are really offers/requests or which expect the answer “Yes”.

For e.g.:-

  • Will you have some samosa and tea? (Offer) 
  • Could you lend me some money? (Request) 
  • Did you buy some clothes? (I expect you did.) 


In negative or interrogative sentences. But any can be used after ‘if’ in affirmative sentences.

For e.g.:- 

  • If you need any money I will help you. 
  • I will not buy any mangoes. 
  • Have you bought any chocolates? 

Each, Every

  • ‘Each’ and ‘Every’ are similar in meaning, but ‘Every’ is a stronger word than each; it means, 'each without exception'. 
  • ‘Each’ is used in speaking of two or more things; ‘Every’ is used only in speaking of more than two. 
  • ‘Each’ directs attention to the individuals forming any group, ‘Every’ to the total group. 
  • ‘Each’ is used only when the number in the group is limited and definite; ‘Every’ when the number is indefinite. 

For e.g.:-

  • Every seat was taken in the bus. 
  • Five boys were seated on each bench. 
  • Every one of these toys is expensive. 
  • Leap year falls in every fourth year. 
  • He came to see us every three days. [i.e., once in every period of three days]. 
  • It rained every day during my holidays. 
  • I was away ten days and it rained each day. 

Little, A little, The little: -

(1) Little = not much (i.e., hardly any). Thus, the adjective little has a negative meaning.

For e.g.:-

  • There is little hope of his recovery. (i.e.:- he is not likely to recovery) 
  • He showed little concern for his father. 
  • He has little influence over his old followers. 
  • He showed little mercy to the thief. 
  • He has little appreciation of good poetry. 

(2) A little = some though not much. 'A little' has a positive meaning.

For e.g.:-

  • There is a little hope of his recovery. (i.e.:-he may possibly recover.) 
  • A little tactics is also required in the game of chess. 
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. 

(3) The little = not much, but all there is.

For e.g.:-

  • The little information he had was not quite reliable. 
  • The little knowledge of carpentry that he possessed stood him in good stead. 
  • [The sentence means-The knowledge of carpentry he possessed was not much; but all that knowledge stood him in good stead.] 

Few, A few, The few

(1) Few = not many, hardly any, 'Few' has a negative meaning.

For e.g.:-

  • Only a few persons can keep a secret. 
  • Few people are as hopeless as drunkards. 
  • Few towns in India have public libraries. 
  • Few workers attended work today. 
  • Few men are free from faults. 
  • Few men reach the age of one hundred years. 
  • Few students passed IBPS exam. 

(2) A few = some. 'A few' has a positive meaning, and is opposed to 'none'.

For e.g.:-

  • A few words spoken in earnest will convince him. 
  • A few Parsees write Gujarati correctly. 

(3) The few = not many, but all there are.

For e.g.:-

  • The few remarks that he made were very suggestive. [The sentence means- The remarks that he made were not many, but all those remarks were very suggestive.] 
  • The few friends he has are all very poor. 
  • The few clothes they had were all tattered and torn. 

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