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I'm going to the grocery store at the corner.

(1)Can I get you anything?

Correct. The speaker doesn't presume that the hearer needs some stuff.

(2)Can I get you something?

Correct. The speaker presumes that the hearer may need some stuff.

Is there any difference?

Thanks,
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Well you've already pointed out the difference so I'm not sure what else you need?
Your confirmation is the most precious.

What about this?

(1)If you need some money, I will lend you some.
(2)If you need any money, I will lend you some.

The book says when the indefinite adjective is embedded in an if-clause, use 'any'. But I think using 'some' makes sense, too. Am I on the right track?

Thanks,
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Hello Pastel

I think you know better than me about the usage of SOME and ANY. As you told me, SOME is used when you expect your listener would answer "YES" and ANY is used when you don’t know whether the answer is YES or NO.

An if-clause is commonly used to presuppose such an event that you don’t know whether it is true or not. So in a normal context, ANY would be more often used than SOME.
"If you need any help to learn Japanese, I can assist you."
But if I know you really have troubles in learning Japanese, I would say:
"If you need some help to learn Japanese, I can assist you"
In the case of "need money", I am rather hesitant to say "if you need some money", because I'm afraid my listner would take it as if I am saying "if you are poor".

paco

PASTELThe speaker doesn't presume that the hearer needs some stuff.

The speaker presumes that the hearer may need some stuff.

Any and some in these contexts do not ring much differently in my ears. I'm not convinced these presumptions apply, although the theory seems reasonable, and it might function well in certain contexts.

Can I get you something? might seem to limit the range of things the speaker is able to get for the other person, where Can I get you anything? might seem to suggest a limitless number of things that the speaker could get for the other person.
Peco, you got a decent explaination.
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Thanks, Paco the Polar Pear! Emotion: wink
Yohooo8
Peco, you got a decent explaination.

Peco?! Do you like Peco? I have a collection of Peco and Poko but I don't collect paco!

http://www.fujiya-foodservice.jp/menu/pekopoko/
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