I'd really like ______ to eat right now. I'm really hungry!

I think "anything" fits here best.

I think in this way she is really hungry and can eat anything right now. In other words, she exaggerates that she is so hungry she could even eat worms.

Am I right?

  • It's spelled "right", fyi
    – Kat
    Mar 24, 2019 at 18:42

5 Answers 5


The formal rule is this: something is declarative and anything is interrogative or negative. Then, there's usage. Also, this is not the entire story on something, anything and nothing, which are similar to some, any, and none in usage.

  • He wants something to eat right now.
  • Does he want anything to eat right now?
  • He doesn't want anything to eat right now.

However, you can also use something in the interrogative:
- Does he want something to eat right now?

Then, there's negative interrogative:

  • Doesn't he want something or anything to eat right now?

What is not used is: He wants [declarative] anything to eat right now. The declarative has to be something. Unless you are mean:

I want (just) anything at all to eat. That's how hungry I am.

All the above fits with the verb: I'd like.


With the verb "like", "something" sounds better, because the person expresses a preference.

  • I'd like something sweet to eat.

  • I'd like something hot to eat.

"anything" would tend to be used with modal verbs "can" or "could" expressing capability or possibility to convey the idea that any kind of food would be welcome:

  • I'm so hungry I could have anything to eat (no matter what).
  • 1
    The last one is a bit iffy: I'm so hungry I could eat anything.
    – Lambie
    Mar 24, 2019 at 15:53
  • The OP did NOT suggest expressing a preference. They asked which of two words best fitted in the sentence that they gave. You have added a new factor which may have merit but which is not what was asked. Mar 26, 2019 at 3:50

I'd really like ______ to eat right now. I'm really hungry!

  • I'd really like anything to eat right now. I'm really hungry!

This would be correct English but unusual usage.
If said then exaggerated emphasis would usually be placed on "anything" to make the point that this is hyperbole (exaggeration intended for emphasis).

  • I'd really like something to eat right now. I'm really hungry!

This would be a normal statement. The point is clear enough for most cases. Placing heavy emphasis on "really" would achieve much the same result as in the first example.

  • I'd really like something to eat right now. I could eat a horse!

The expression "I could eat a horse " is a very "time honoured" one which is in common usage and which conveys your point well.

  • anything is really anything at all....
    – Lambie
    Mar 25, 2019 at 12:24
  • @Lambie I don't see what relevance your comment has to what I said. I fully agree that "anything: essentially means "anything at all", but that does not in any way impact on my comments - ie the word "anything" would almost always be emphasised in typical usage in antipodean NZ and, I'd expect, anywhere where the Queen's English is spoken. Other brands of English may be different. I may be wrong, but ... . Mar 26, 2019 at 3:47

The other answers address the main question.

However, it is more usual to say:

I'd really like to eat something right now.

("to eat" before "something")

  • "I'd like something to eat." would be by far the more common usage in UK English speaking New Zealand, and, I'd assume, possibly wrongly, in the UK. In the US perhaps not. Elsewhere maybe not, but I;d suggest it was :less proper English" to say "I'd like to eat something" in the intended context. Mar 26, 2019 at 3:45

I would really love something to eat right now, anything at all would be nice.

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