Hva som helst vs. Noe som helst
Today I got taught this by a native speaker:
These are correct: Hun kan gjøre hva som helst = She can do anything. Hun kan ikke gjøre noe som helst = She can't do anything.
But this is not: Hun kan ikke gjøre hva som helst.
But why? Does anybody have a good rule to explain when to use hva som helst vs noe som helst?
Ikke and noe have a close relationship in the Norwegian language, similar to the words not and any in English. Often when I hear the word "ikke" used in Norwegian, I subconsciously anticipate some form of "noe" to be paired with it.
- Jeg har ikke noe vann. I don't have any water.
- Jeg har ikke noen brødre. I don't have any brothers.
Hva som helst basically means anything, but the "ikke" in the sentence comes with the "noe" like it's on a leash, much like how
- "I want nothing" sounds perfectly natural in English, but
- "I don't want nothing" sounds ungrammatical and confusing, even if it is fine in certain dialects.
Standard English, if there is such a thing, prefers that the "don't" transition the "nothing" into "anything", just like how the "ikke" changes the "hva" into a "noe". That's how my brain processes this. Perhaps a native speaker can be more concise?