Have you ever heard someone say, “Anybody have an idea how …?”, and wondered whether it should be “anybody has”? Although “anybody” is in the third person singular, and hence the correct verb form used with it must contain an “s” (as in “anybody who has read the book …”), “have” in the situation described above is the only “correct” option. Why?
What we are dealing with here is the so-called conversational deletion. In colloquial English, it is possible to omit certain elements at the beginning of a sentence that are not essential to the overall meaning. For example, we can often read
instead of “I hope to hear from you soon!” in informal email correspondence. “Anybody have” falls into the same category. The deleted word in this case is “does”:
This usage should be completely avoided in formal writing, but it is relatively widespread in spoken language. Trying to “correct” the sentence by using “has” results in something that doesn’t sound natural at all. For example, “Does anybody have any questions?” can be asked as: