ANYTHING | SOMETHING + adjective

Let’s look at some examples of the indefinite pronoun ‘something’ + adjective phrase.  This relates to “post positioned adjectives

‘something’ is an indefinite pronoun.  ‘special’ is an adjective. The adjective post-modifies the pronoun.  The adjective makes the pronoun more specific.

(Watch example sentences)

The meaning of ‘something adjective‘ can be understood with similar grammar, but it is less natural:

  • I’ll make a thing which is special for you.
  • I’ll make a special thing for you.

The same goes for ‘anything’ however it is found most often in negative contexts and or questions:

(watch example sentences)


The English Grammar Profile lists the indefinite pronoun ‘something’ followed by an adjective at both B1 and A2.

B1 point 44 in the category of ADJECTIVES/position is defined:

adjective or adjective phrase after pronouns like ‘something’, ‘nothing’, ‘somewhere’, ‘nowhere’.

A2 point 37 in the category of PRONOUNS is defined:

modify ‘something’ or ‘anything’ with an adjective, to make it more specific.


The explanations do not make it clearer although intuition would suggest the object position and more simple vocabulary range could possibly be used to differentiate the CEFR levels. For now here at EnglishGrammar.Pro we propose that point 44 will include: nothing|somewhere|nowhere|anyone|everything|someone|everyone and point 37 remain as it is. This seems to fit with collocation frequency on the iWeb corpus too.

By the way, here are the most frequent 100 “something” + adjective collocations from the iWeb corpus:

1 SOMETHING NEW 136680

It has given us somehing new to worry about.

2 SOMETHING DIFFERENT 78582
3 SOMETHING SIMILAR 72228
4 SOMETHING WRONG 55670
5 SOMETHING SPECIAL 52467
6 SOMETHING GOOD 19012
7 SOMETHING INTERESTING 15842
8 SOMETHING UNIQUE 15771
9 SOMETHING IMPORTANT 14811
10 SOMETHING FUN 13143
11 SOMETHING BIGGER 11680
12 SOMETHING SIMPLE 11375
13 SOMETHING BIG 10931
14 SOMETHING BAD 10375
15 SOMETHING POSITIVE 9804
16 SOMETHING USEFUL 9721
17 SOMETHING GREAT 9112
18 SOMETHING BETTER 9068
19 SOMETHING SPECIFIC 8377
20 SOMETHING NICE 8255
21 SOMETHING EXTRA 7917
22 SOMETHING SWEET 7093
23 SOMETHING SMALL 6627
24 SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL 6597
25 SOMETHING AMAZING 6576
26 SOMETHING STUPID 6311
27 SOMETHING STRANGE 6225
28 SOMETHING AKIN 5462
29 SOMETHING UNEXPECTED 5180
30 SOMETHING COOL 5046
31 SOMETHING MAGICAL 4705
32 SOMETHING REAL 4438
33 SOMETHING MEANINGFUL 4394
34 SOMETHING GREATER 4317
35 SOMETHING UNUSUAL 4272
36 SOMETHING WONDERFUL 4236
37 SOMETHING WEIRD 4220
38 SOMETHING FUNNY 4211
39 SOMETHING ONLY 4121
40 SOMETHING TERRIBLE 3882
41 SOMETHING FRESH 3875
42 SOMETHING LARGER 3622
43 SOMETHING VALUABLE 3568
44 SOMETHING EXCITING 3563
45 SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY 3547
46 SOMETHING SERIOUS 3451
47 SOMETHING AWESOME 3188
48 SOMETHING WORTHWHILE 3176
49 SOMETHING CRAZY 3173
50 SOMETHING EASY 3171
51 SOMETHING NEGATIVE 3127
52 SOMETHING ODD 3047
53 SOMETHING TANGIBLE 2944
54 SOMETHING SMALLER 2767
55 SOMETHING CREATIVE 2637
56 SOMETHING QUICK 2615
57 SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT 2581
58 SOMETHING OLD 2552
59 SOMETHING DELICIOUS 2489
60 SOMETHING WORSE 2443
61 SOMETHING HEAVY 2340
62 SOMETHING LIGHT 2260
63 SOMETHING PERSONAL 2217
64 SOMETHING AWFUL 2190
65 SOMETHING OTHER 2189
66 SOMETHING OBVIOUS 2143
67 SOMETHING SUPER 2073
68 SOMETHING HEALTHY 2001
69 SOMETHING ORIGINAL 1996
70 SOMETHING STRONGER 1991
71 SOMETHING ILLEGAL 1972
72 SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE 1969
73 SOMETHING SILLY 1941
74 SOMETHING FAMILIAR 1888
75 SOMETHING HORRIBLE 1854
76 SOMETHING SOLID 1848
77 SOMETHING MAJOR 1845
78 SOMETHING INCREDIBLE 1762
79 SOMETHING FISHY 1719
80 SOMETHING PHYSICAL 1683
81 SOMETHING WARM 1679
82 SOMETHING HUGE 1628
83 SOMETHING REMARKABLE 1530
84 SOMETHING CHEAP 1515
85 SOMETHING LIGHTER 1509
86 SOMETHING SPECTACULAR 1475
87 SOMETHING CONCRETE 1409
88 SOMETHING SUITABLE 1381
89 SOMETHING RELEVANT 1343
90 SOMETHING DRASTIC 1330
91 SOMETHING HIGHER 1330
92 SOMETHING SIMPLER 1318
93 SOMETHING DANGEROUS 1313
94 SOMETHING DECENT 1313
95 SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS 1305
96 SOMETHING SOFT 1303
97 SOMETHING BLUE 1300
98 SOMETHING DIFFICULT 1299
99 SOMETHING CUTE 1297
100 SOMETHING DARK 1245


These are the top 25 A2 Adjectives that come in the structure ‘something + adjective’:

amazing, awesome, cool, crazy, dangerous, extra, fresh, healthy, heavy, higher, horrible, larger, negative, real, simple, simpler, soft, special, strange, stronger, terrible, unusual, useful, wonderful, worse


1 ANYTHING WRONG 27167
2 ANYTHING NEW 18368
3 ANYTHING SPECIAL 10623
4 ANYTHING DIFFERENT 7095
5 ANYTHING BAD 5763
6 ANYTHING BETTER 5312
7 ANYTHING GOOD 5105
8 ANYTHING SIMILAR 4723
9 ANYTHING USEFUL 4401
10 ANYTHING SPECIFIC 3971
11 ANYTHING NEGATIVE 3725
12 ANYTHING IMPORTANT 3245
13 ANYTHING INTERESTING 3241
14 ANYTHING EXTRA 3222
15 ANYTHING UNUSUAL 3172
16 ANYTHING SHORT 2440
17 ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS 2421
18 ANYTHING ILLEGAL 2362
19 ANYTHING SERIOUS 2340
20 ANYTHING FANCY 2182
21 ANYTHING POSITIVE 2106
22 ANYTHING LARGER 2078
23 ANYTHING BIGGER 1979
24 ANYTHING HIGHER 1934
25 ANYTHING OTHER 1732
26 ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT 1679
27 ANYTHING WORSE 1584
28 ANYTHING SMALLER 1572
29 ANYTHING MAJOR 1466
30 ANYTHING WORTHWHILE 1441
31 ANYTHING MEANINGFUL 1423
32 ANYTHING STUPID 1330
33 ANYTHING AVAILABLE 1113
34 ANYTHING CRAZY 1107
35 ANYTHING NICE 1100
36 ANYTHING LONGER 1092
37 ANYTHING BIG 1040
38 ANYTHING SUBSTANTIAL 1017
39 ANYTHING LOWER 1016
40 ANYTHING STRANGE 982
41 ANYTHING POSSIBLE 856
42 ANYTHING RELEVANT 823
43 ANYTHING FUN 814
44 ANYTHING UNTOWARD 776
45 ANYTHING WEIRD 776
46 ANYTHING CONCRETE 760
47 ANYTHING UNIQUE 747
48 ANYTHING VALUABLE 732
49 ANYTHING HEAVY 730
50 ANYTHING REAL 721
51 ANYTHING SEXUAL 703
52 ANYTHING GREAT 697
53 ANYTHING OBVIOUS 677
54 ANYTHING PHYSICAL 673
55 ANYTHING GREATER 652
56 ANYTHING PERSONAL 648
57 ANYTHING ADDITIONAL 632
58 ANYTHING DRASTIC 593
59 ANYTHING ODD 591
60 ANYTHING FUNNY 581
61 ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE 574
62 ANYTHING SWEET 573
63 ANYTHING COMPARABLE 571
64 ANYTHING OFFICIAL 558
65 ANYTHING INAPPROPRIATE 553
66 ANYTHING CREATIVE 552
67 ANYTHING SPECTACULAR 540
68 ANYTHING HELPFUL 536
69 ANYTHING SOLID 530
70 ANYTHING EXCITING 525
71 ANYTHING DANGEROUS 520
72 ANYTHING DEFINITIVE 514
73 ANYTHING OLDER 513
74 ANYTHING SUPER 513
75 ANYTHING DECENT 507
76 ANYTHING ABNORMAL 504
77 ANYTHING HEAVIER 497
78 ANYTHING PARTICULAR 497
79 ANYTHING SMALL 495
80 ANYTHING UNEXPECTED 469
81 ANYTHING GREEN 456
82 ANYTHING LIKE 456
83 ANYTHING STRONGER 452
84 ANYTHING CONSTRUCTIVE 431
85 ANYTHING TANGIBLE 429
86 ANYTHING HARMFUL 427
87 ANYTHING SUITABLE 404
88 ANYTHING IMAGINABLE 384
89 ANYTHING ORIGINAL 370
90 ANYTHING CRITICAL 360
91 ANYTHING EXTRAORDINARY 358
92 ANYTHING WORTHY 357
93 ANYTHING NECESSARY 355
94 ANYTHING TECHNICAL 352
95 ANYTHING SILLY 350
96 ANYTHING ELECTRICAL 349
97 ANYTHING NASTY 344
98 ANYTHING EXPENSIVE 335
99 ANYTHING COMPLICATED 328
100 ANYTHING COOL 327