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Hi,
we all know that "any" in affirmative sentences is equal to "any one of them, it doesn't matter which". Any learner of English can succeed.

We also know that "not"+ "any" (a negation ans a word with any) equals "no". I don't care about anyone = I care about no one.
But... always? Can't "not" + "any" also mean... oh, I don't know how to explain this, here's the examples:

- You listen to any idiot who tells you what to do...
- No, not any idiot... only the idiots I think are smarter than you.
(not any idiot = not (any idiot, it doesn't matter who))

I will give you anything you need.
I won't give you anything you need.
<--- What does this mean? I will give you nothing at all? Or I won't give you anything/everything, I'll just give you something?

I... really... don't... know... Thanks Emotion: smile
Comments  
KooyeenHi,
we all know that "any" in affirmative sentences is equal to "any one of them, it doesn't matter which". Any learner of English can succeed.

We also know that "not"+ "any" (a negation ans a word with any) equals "no". I don't care about anyone = I care about no one.
But... always? Can't "not" + "any" also mean... oh, I don't know how to explain this, here's the examples:

- You listen to any idiot who tells you what to do...
- No, not any idiot... only the idiots I think are smarter than you.
(not any idiot = not (any idiot, it doesn't matter who)) I am fussy about which idiots I listen to. Emotion: smile

I will give you anything you need. I will give you whetever you need.
I won't give you anything you need.
<--- What does this mean? I might give you some things, but none of them will be things you need. - OR - I refuse to give you things that you need. I will give you nothing at all? Or I won't give you anything/everything, I'll just give you something?

I... really... don't... know... Thanks Emotion: smile

Thank you Amy.
Yankee
- No, not any idiot... only the idiots I think are smarter than you.
(not any idiot = not (any idiot, it doesn't matter who)) I am fussy about which idiots I listen to. Emotion: smile

I won't give you anything you need.
<--- What does this mean? I might give you some things, but none of them will be things you need. - OR - I refuse to give you things that you need.

In my first sentence, you accepted "not any" as "I am fussy about which idiots I listen to", so you accepted that "not any" as "not every", "not all".
Why in the second you say "I might give you some things, but none of them will be things you need." Can't it be "...but not all of them will be things you need"?

Thanks Emotion: smile

Try out our live chat room.
I think to get that meaning across, you'd be more likely to say "I won't give you everything you need".
Hi Kooyeen

In a word: context. Emotion: smile

If you had given me more context with "I won't give you anything you need" or possibly if you had highlighted the word anything or if you had written "any old thing" instead of 'anything', then I might have interpretted the sentence differently.

I agree that for your meaning, 'everything' would have been the word to choose, though.
Thanks again Amy, and thank you Ruby Ruby Ruby Rubeh (lol, sorry, I can't get that song out of my head)

If I got it right, "every" (and similar words, "everything", etc.) is the word to use for what I wnat to say. Ok, I actually already know that...
As for "any" and releted words, they are possible for that meaning as well, but not very common, and they must always be used in a very clear context where it is clear that "not any" is not "no" but "not every, not all, etc."

It it so? Emotion: smile
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I see that your ambiguity detector is operating at full power!
(This one is almost up there with All of the students are not here.)

My first impulse is to interpret it as If you need it, I won't give it to you. (I'll give you nothing you need. / I will deny you everything you need.) Of course you can say these to avoid the ambiguity.
________

The alternate interpretation can be emphasized with just, possibly with may or might.

I won't give you just anything you (might) need.
(I will give you only those things you need that I believe are reasonable to give you.)

Very informally, just any old thing: (old completely loses its literal meaning here.)

I'm not going to give you just any old thing you might need.


Also very idiomatic:
Just because you (may) need [it / something] doesn't mean I'm going to give it to you.

CJ

Edit: It looks like you all have had a whole conversation about this while I was cogitating on how to answer! I'm so SLOW -- especially when I'm trying to have lunch while bouncing around on the forums!
Ok, I see the "alternative interpretation" is only possible in some contexts, with a certain stress ans intonation, etc.

So I don't need to worry, "not" + "any" is practically always interpreted as "no".

PS: yeah, my ambiguity detector seems to work fine. I think I feel like being fussy today, because I really don't know why I'm asking such weird questions...

Thank you all Emotion: smile