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?

  • 1
    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


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.

  • 2
    Do is more formal, but in informal spoken english dropping it fine. Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 15:08

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.


"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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