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Grammar / 11 August 2020

Anytime vs. Any Time

Do You Have Any Time to Do Anything in Your Everyday Life?

A common complaint of many in this busy world! We’re not here to talk about how busy everyday life is though – we’re here to talk about words. So, why can’t you say:

  • Do You Have Anytime in Your Every Day life to Do Any Thing?

 

See the difference? Let’s look at how a single space (or lack of it!) between two words can make them grammatically incorrect.

 

Everyday vs. Every Day

Starting with the easiest pair:

 

  Information Examples
Everyday
  • adjective
  • means ‘ordinary’ or ‘typical’
  • Losing his key is an everyday occurrence for Barry.
  • My everyday tasks take up 80% of my time. 
Every day
  • means ‘each day’
  • It rained every day in February.
  • On holiday, we went to the beach every day.

 

Anytime vs. Any Time

A little trickier:

 

  Information Examples
Anytime
  • adverb
  • means ‘at any point in time’ or ‘whenever’
  • You can have lunch anytime you like.
  • Call me anytime. 
Any tiime
  • used with a preposition
  • used to talk about an amount of time
  • You can have lunch at any time.
  • Call me at any time.
  • Do you have any time to talk to me today? 

 

 

Anything vs. Any Thing

This might make you scratch your head a little:

 

  Information Example
Anything
  • pronoun
  • means ‘a thing of any kind’
  • usually used with negatives and in questions
  • You’ll never learn anything new if you don’t try.
  • Can I get you anything from the bar? 
Any thing
  • used to emphasise you are talking about an object (not a person or animal). Often said as ‘any one thing’.
  • used when an adjective modifies the ‘thing’
  • used when ‘thing’ is plural
  • If any (one) thing is difficult, it is learning a language!
  •  
  •  
  • Any little thing can make her stressed.
  •  
  • Any things that are old can be thrown away. 

 

If in doubt with this one, use ‘anything’, as there is usually a fairly strong case for it being appropriate too.

For example, you could say:

 

If anything is difficult,
it is learning a language!

 

This is more general in sense, rather than emphasising a single thing, but it also works well as a sentence.

 

Test Time

 

  1. I ran __________ in January to get myself fit.
  2. ___________ that are left unattended at an airport will be removed.
  3. Sometimes my _________ routine can get repetitive.
  4. I’m available __________ during the afternoon.
  5. Is there _________ you’d like me to get at the shops?
  6. The doctor doesn’t have ___________ to see you this week.

 

1. every day; 2. Any things; 3. everyday; 4. anytime; 5. anything; 6. any time

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