all vs. anything vs. everything

Hello All.

Why cannot we not, specifically, use the third example?

I know everything about cars.
I know all about cars.
I know anything about cars.


Hi Molly,

“anything” usually occurs in negative sentences, questions or as an indefinite pronoun.
e.g: Do you know anything about cars?
I don’t know anything about cars.
That’s what I think :slight_smile:

I know the classroom “rule”, but why, specifically, can we not use “anything”, there?

Perhaps noone will give you a satisfying reason why. Learning language is more about abiding by rules than logic.
Just change something in your native language so it will sound weird, and try to explain why you can’t say that. In most cases you will run up against a brick wall :slight_smile:

Hi Molly,

On its own in your sentence ‘anything’ simply has no meaning because you don’t what the speaker/writer does know.


I see. So “any” does not always have the meaning “all” or “none”, right?

I disagree, but that’s another conversation.

The simplified rule, if it is a rule, of “use some in positives and any in questions and negatives” cannot account for the second example from each pair below:

I like some pop music.
I like any pop music.

I don’t like any pop music.
I don’t like some pop music.

All those examples are grammatical, so where does that leave the above “rule”?

If you know of a rule that covers all uses of some and any, please post it.