This sentence just came to mind right after I watched the sentence :

Do you need anything?

So, do these two sentences have the same meaning, or is the one in the title totally redundant?

2 Answers 2


Semantically, the two sentences might actually be considered the opposite of each other. (Although not necessarily.)

Let's say I'm about to cook a meal that requires ten different ingredients. A friend might ask me:

Do you need anything?

The meaning of this is roughly the same as:

Is there something you don't have but do need me to get for you?

The emphasis is put on asking about things that are missing, not things that exist.

But your other sentence seems to convey the opposite emphasis:

Do you have anything you need?

Which is roughly the same as:

Is there anything you do have and don't need me to get for you?

In short, Do you need anything? puts the emphasis on assuming you have most things and might only need a few, whereas Do you have anything you need? puts the emphasis on assuming you are missing most things and might need a lot.

Idiomatically, it's actually these two questions that would be the equivalent:

Do you need anything?
Do you have everything?


The one in the title is grammatical, but does not mean the same as the one in the question. In fact, it's pretty unlikely anyone would use it.

The sentence in the title is best understood by considering it as having implied words:

Do you have anything that is needed?

Literally, I would take that to mean "do you have anything that you need?", which isn't much use as a question.

  • I get it that my sentence in title is rarely used, but 'Do you need anything?' and 'Do you have anything that is needed?' seem to be the same.
    – Student412
    Feb 23, 2019 at 23:53
  • Or is the former one used for requesting some object and the latter one is used for asking some action?
    – Student412
    Feb 23, 2019 at 23:54
  • Nah. It's just not something a native speaker would say in any scenario I can imagine. "Do you need anything?" will usually be taken to mean needing objects of some sort provided. If you want to make sure you're offering actions as well, "do you need anything doing?" or, more natural in most dialects I've come across, "can I do anything for you?" would be the way to go.
    – SamBC
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:15
  • See, "do you have anything that is needed" puts the need into the passive voice, so it isn't saying who needs it. "Do you have anything" is the focus of the sentence, so it is asking if the person addressed has something, and then narrows that to things that are needed. So it is asking about things they already have.
    – SamBC
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .