Do you have something to eat?

Do you have anything to eat?

What is the difference in their meaning? Even slight difference.


If you are asking the person if they can give you something/anything to eat, there is very little difference. Both are vague requests.

But even if it were specific:

  • Do you have any SPAM?
  • Do you have some SPAM?

    it would not make a difference.

However, this might not be asking someone for food. You might be asking whether they have something/anything for them to eat.

If you ask if they have something to eat, it usually refers to the present moment; e.g. something to eat for lunch.

If you ask whether they have anything to eat, you might be wondering whether their cupboards are completely bare, so that they have nothing to eat—neither now nor later.


I think...

"something" refers to a noun which is finite. Said that, when we have fewer possibilities or limited things to select from, we use 'something'.

On the other hand, "anything" refers to a noun which is infinite and we have bigger number or great possibilities to choose from. It may not be selective and it is 'larger than' something.

Do you have something to eat?

You are hungry and probably asking for food (may be of your choice)


Do you have anything to eat?

Here, you are famished, you are ready to eat anything available.

In this context (and so in any), 'anything' over 'something' simply intensifies whatever you are talking about.


I'll do something for you -selective, limited


I'll do anything for you -aggressive, possessive, intensified, unlimited.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.