Anyone have an extra apartment there?

This quote is from an English native speaker. Why "anyone have"?

This could be an elliptical question, but I'd expect native speakers to ask a question using an affirmative sentence as in:

Anyone knows what happened?

Here is the full quote:

Friends. Hi! Sitting here on a Friday night brainstorming honeymoon options with David. Who has ideas?!? Where is a great place to visit at the end of March? We have ideas all over the place. One option we are thinking about Paris ... anyone have an extra apartment there?

If it is an elliptical question, what do you think is more common in everyday spoken English? Elliptical or questions in affirmative forms?


Thanks to everyone for answering. I was looking for the full meaning and etymology of an idiom when I came across this quote which serves as a real world example:

In Reply to: (Correcting omission) posted by R. Berg on February 25, 2003

: : : Anyone know the origin of the idiom or phrase "Throw the book at em." I realize it means prosecute someone to the fullest extent of the law, a law enforcement term, but does anyone really know where it came from and when it first began being used?

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    "Anyone have ...?" is okay, but "Anyone knows ...?" is not quite okay; it should be "Anyone know ...?" Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:18
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    I couldn't venture a guess on "which is more common." I will say this, though – neither form is rare in spoken English. Also, your questions asks about "spoken English," but you example looks like it was from written English.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:29
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    it's elliptical to my ear, & perfectly natural in speech or speech-like writing - missing the "does anyone…" Similarly "Does anyone know.." or "Has anyone seen…" Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 10:17
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    Put the invisible 'does' 'has' etc at the front & the apparent need to write 'knows' vanishes too. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 10:18
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    No. I'm not even sure how to read that, as it stands. If you mean coins for the parking meter etc, then 'Anyone have change?' Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


This is conversational deletion, which John Lawler has addressed on ELU.

Briefly, this is a 'rule' of conversational English which says that a speaker can chop off elementsat the beginning of an utterance which may be inferred from the context—primarily function words, "articles, dummies, auxiliaries, possessives, conditional if, and ... subject pronouns". In your example:

Does anyone have an extra apartment there?

Have stays in the infinitive, because the does is inferred. This might also be expressed

Has anyone got an extra apartment there?

If the subject is inferrable, that can go, too:

Have you got a spare pen?
Will you have a drink?

But as Prof. Lawler says,

this phenomenon only occurs in speaking English, and in other informal communication systems like email and txting that work like speech. It is not good formal written style, except for reporting dialog in a story.

  • Is conversational deletion different from elliptical questions? Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 17:21
  • @starsplusplus I don't know exactly what you mean by 'elliptical questions'. Conversational deletion involves ellipsis, but as you may see from Prof. Lawler's Answer at the link, it is not restricted to questions: "Just been down to the corner" deletes "I have". Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 17:30
  • Ah, "elliptical questions" was a term I borrowed from the comments above. I assumed it meant I meant ellipsis at the start of a question. I'm not very familiar with all these terms :) Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 17:34
  • Ellipsis + sentence (Q, etc) = Elliptical Sentence (Q, etc) - Links embedded
    – learner
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 6:01
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    @learner Oh, sure, that could show up. It could represent "[Is there] anyone [who] knows what happened?" with is there a conversational deletion and who a colloquially acceptable deletion of a subject relative. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 12:18

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