What is the correct form and why?

Do you miss some item that is on the list?

Are you missing some item that is on the list?

The context in this particular example Context

  • "some item-s", not "some item".
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:12
  • 2
    Or the sentence could use "any item."
    – apaderno
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:13
  • @Mistu4u care to explain?
    – user1853
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:16
  • @kiamlaluno, Yes and in fact, "any item" sounds more natural.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:19
  • BDW, the sense you want to convey is more clear in the second example. However I can't really explain why can't I admit the first example though it looks grammatical.
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


They really mean two different things.

  • Do you miss something on the list?
    You miss something which you have lost or someone who is absent: you feel sadness at no longer having the thing or the presence. For instance, you miss your old Corvette that finally blew out its engine; or you miss your sister whom you haven't seen for several months.

  • Are you missing anything on the list?
    You are missing something which you are supposed to have and thought you had but can't find. For instance, you're missing the cable you need to hook up your new printer. ... This may also be expressed with the 'something' as subject:
    Is anything on the list missing?

If what you mean to ask is whether there is something on the list your hearer doesn't have but needs, try this instead:

  • Is there anything on the list you need?
  • Thank you for this answer. Your explanation is more than satisfactory. I think I have it correct now, but here is the context to be sure i.imgur.com/dqXP0yy.png
    – user1853
    Oct 4, 2013 at 19:37
  • 2
    @Grant It looks OK to me. I'd say "Did you find an item?" rather than some. Some isn't in any way wrong, but it feels like academic overprecision. Oct 4, 2013 at 22:25

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