“Some” is an interesting word. It is a non-specific way to refer to something that is specific but unknown to me at this moment!
Here are some words for your examination:
- Someone or somebody
Someone, somebody, something, somehow, somewhere, someday–these are treated as singular in form.
1. There must be some way to do it.
- This means I believe there is definitely a specific way to do it (to achieve success).
- I don’t know what that specific way is yet. It is currently unknown to me.
- Once I do it though (once I succeed), then the way I did it is that specific
“some way” that I was talking about earlier. That way has become known to me.
2. There must be some word to describe how I feel about you.
- There is definitely a word that will describe how I feel about you.
- I don’t know that word yet, but when I discover it, then that word was the one I am talking about now (before I know it).
3. Hm, the trash bag was torn open this morning. Some dog must have done it last night.
I’d like to kill that dog!
- It is likely that just ONE dog in my neighborhood did it.
- I don’t know which dog yet.
- Perhaps there was a witness! If the witness tells me which dog it was,
THEN I will know which dog I am specifically talking about.
4. If I put my wallet on a table in a room full of people, and I look away for two
minutes and then look back and my wallet is gone, I may say, “Hey, someone stole
my wallet!” When I say “someone” stole my wallet, I am talking about ONE
person in that whole room, the one who stole my wallet. That “someone” knows
I am talking specifically about him or her. I don’t know the identity of that one
specific person I am talking about yet but his/her identity is knowable. I may find
out someday who that “someone” is; perhaps the police will catch them and tell me.
Here is a different usage of “some”:
That is some red dress you are wearing.
- In this usage, we emphasize “some” when speaking.
- This usage indicates the dress is unusual in some way, either very very attractive or very very outlandish.
So now, I have given you something to think about. It is my fond hope that someday you will be with someone somewhere and you will remember this post and smile. Your friend will ask you what you are smiling about, and you might say, “I’m just thinking about someone who taught me something some time ago (sometime in the past). I will have to find a way to thank him somehow. And your friend will think, That is some smile on your face.
Challenge question: I used both “some time” and “sometime”. Can both of these be correct or did I goof?