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I've recently encountered three sentences:

  1. I can't agree with you more.
  2. I can't agree with you any more.
  3. I can't agree with you anymore.

What do these three sentences mean? Are they the same, or are there any differences?

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8  
Usually the first example would be given as "I couldn't agree with you more." –  Robusto Apr 27 '12 at 3:11
    
Note that you have two answers giving opposite interpretations of sentence 2, and take that as a hint not to use that construction: it's ambiguous. –  TRiG Sep 28 '13 at 19:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

"I cannot agree with you more." means that I agree with you to a complete extent, making it impossible for me to agree with you to a greater extent.

"I cannot agree with you any more." means that I can no longer agree with you. I agreed with you before, but that has come to an end.

"Anymore" is a somewhat controversial word which is equivalent to "any more", but does not substitute for "any more" in all uses: you would never write "I don't need anymore supplies".

See for instance: http://alt-usage-english.org/anymore.html

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hello ,I'm the person who asked the question,I hope you can read the answer of @Zolani13,that's why I come here to ask this question ,because there is someone telling me that the sentence 1 and 2 have the same meaning.I want to know whether it is right or not. –  coqer Apr 27 '12 at 4:17
    
Sentence one and sentence two have completely different meanings. Your friend is wrong. –  Quasiperfect Apr 27 '12 at 5:37
    
The answer you refer to is a poor quality one that has been voted down. I do not agree with it and stand by my answer. P.S. the difference betwen "anymore" and "any more" is only in the written form. Someone could make the mistake and say "I cannot agree with you any more (than I already do)", neglecting to say the part in parentheses. That would be embarassing, requiring a hasty correction: "Oops, I mean, I cannot agree any more than I already do! I completely agree with you." –  Kaz Apr 27 '12 at 5:37
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Actually, sentence 2 is simply ambiguous. "Any more" can easily mean "any more than I already do", or it could mean "any longer" as in "I cannot continue to agree". Both interpretations are right out of context. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 9 '12 at 15:59
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couldn't cannot be flagged as the past tense. In this case it's about the present and more preferred than can. –  Noah Sep 9 '12 at 18:09

No, they don't mean the same thing. The last two examples mean that I agreed with you at one time, but I no longer can. From this point on, we are no longer in agreement. In the U.S., the adverb anymore is more commonly used than any more, but they mean the same thing in this context.

The first sentence should probably be worded, "I couldn't agree with you more." It means that I agree with you to the fullest extent I can. It is not possible to have more agreement.

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Strictly speaking, the first sentence as currently worded is wrong; at the least it is ambiguous. But I agree it would probably be taken as 'I couldn't agree more.' –  TimLymington Aug 26 '12 at 16:25

Sentences 1 are 2 similar, but they are different from sentence 3:

"I can't agree with you more"

To say that "I can't agree with you more" means you fully and absolutely agree with someone. You can't possibly agree with them more than you already are with this person. 100% agreement with everything said person is saying.

"I can't agree with you any more"

This sentence is kind of the same as the last one. You aren't able to agree with someone at any higher degree than you are now.

"I can't agree with you anymore"

The words "anymore" and "any more" are very different, please be careful!

To say "I can't agree with you anymore" means you can no longer agree with someone. That's how the word "anymore" is different than the words "any + more." You are no longer able to agree with that person. Here are some examples of using the word "anymore" vs "any + more":

    • "I can't row this boat any more" : You cannot row the boat more than you are at the present moment
    • "I can't row this boat anymore": You are no longer capable of rowing the boat
    • "I can't push this box any more": You cannot push the box with more effort than you are pushing it at the present moment
    • "I can't push this box anymore": You are no longer capable of pushing the box

Hope this helps!

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1  
It's true some people make a distinction between "any more" and "anymore", but that's a matter of written forms only, so it's fairly pointless imho. The difference in meaning is made by using "couldn't" rather than "can't" by almost all speakers. –  FumbleFingers Apr 27 '12 at 4:44
    
@FumbleFingers: Would those "some people" be non-Americans? ;-) I'm pretty sure (could be wrong though) that they're considered to be different in British and Australian English. Are you saying it's pointless because the difference is only apparent in written form? I agree about the "couldn't" though. –  Amos M. Carpenter Apr 27 '12 at 5:25
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@Kaz I think a sufficient raise in tone would do it or an appropriate surrounding context. For example: "You can stop arguing. I've already said that I totally agree with you. I can't agree any more." –  David Schwartz Apr 27 '12 at 6:47
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@Kaz: actually, on this site we take the descriptive approach. That's one of our defining features. There are enough prescriptive sites on the Internet already. In fact your comment is now getting flagged, so I have to delete it. –  RegDwigнt Apr 27 '12 at 15:03
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@aaamos: The one-word form anymore (effectively meaning for any more time from now on) is very much an Americanism from the past few decades. Compare British/American here - Brits don't use it. –  FumbleFingers Apr 27 '12 at 15:55

In written language, it would be normal for sentences 1 and 2 to be different, where (as others have written) sentence 1 indicates complete, total agreement, and sentence 2 indicates a divergence of opinion.

In spoken language, however, it is possible for someone to say sentence 2 in such a way that it is apparent from context and from the intonation that what they actually mean is

I can't agree with you any more [than I already do].

Generally you would infer this from the stress and a rising intonation being placed upon "any" (with "more" also being stressed, but slightly less so, and with a more normal 'end-of sentence' falling intonation).

A way to make this meaning more clear would be to use the word couldn't instead of can't: "I couldn't agree with you any more." If spoken in a present-tense context, that really can only be taken to mean complete agreement. (It should also have the stress and intonation upon "any" as previously mentioned.)

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protected by RegDwigнt Sep 28 '13 at 19:31

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