I understand that "some" is used in positive statements, and "any" is used in negative statements and questions.

I have a question about this conversation:

"Do we have any mayonnaise?

"No, we need to buy some."

Why is the answer "some" in the second sentence if it's a negative statement?

Thank you.


You understand correctly, but need to buy some is positive not negative. Compare:

[1] We need to buy some mayonnaise. [positive statement]

[2] We needn't buy any mayonnaise. [negative statement]

scarf witty 274"No, we need to buy some."

Compare these:

We need to buy some (mayo). (positive)
We do not need to buy any (mayo). (negative)

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