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A: Don't you think a bit of distraction might be good for you?

B: I don't know.

A: Well, if you want to do something sometime, just let me know.

B: ...You have something/anything in mind?

A: No, I just thought you might want to get out a little.

I know the difference between 'something' and 'anything' but would one of them for some reason seem more natural than the other in this context?

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    Does this answer your question: some and any in questions?
    – gotube
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 18:57
  • That is a very good summary that explains the nuanced difference between some and any
    – Raestloz
    Commented Mar 22 at 6:51

3 Answers 3

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To me, both of these sound natural, and it seems to me like something that someone would actually say. The only thing I would add is ‘do’ at the start:

Do you have anything in mind? Do you have something in mind?

Another thing: Saying ‘something might’ imply you are looking for something more specific.

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    Do is more formal, but in informal spoken english dropping it fine. Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 15:08
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They have slightly different meanings.

In your case, person B is asking person A if they are thinking of a specific thing, of some thing. Person A in these situations has implied that they are thinking of a specific thing: "if you want to do something sometime, just let me know". It wouldn't make sense to refer to that 'something' as just anything.

"You have anything in mind?" is more of a general inquiry, e.g. "Did you have anything in mind for Helen's present?" (taken from Cambridge Dictionary).

The first idiom is also more common according to Google Ngrams.

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"Do you have something in mind?" is specific.

Answer: "Yes, I was thinking we could play a video game."

Do you have anything in mind? is not specific.
That could refer to any number of suggestions. play a video game, watch a movie, go for a walk. Also, you say anything when you think they might not have something specific in mind.

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