I don't know why this is so, but I've always believed that the word anymore should only be used in a question or negative statement.

Do you go there anymore?
Don't do that anymore.

But I often hear people use it in a declarative sentence, such as

Anymore, I eat pizza with pepperoni.

To me this is just wrong. Am I wrong?

  • 2
    My parents talk this way. Don't you tell me my parents are wrong! :) – Kosmonaut Jan 27 '11 at 13:46
  • It is substandard english as one of the other people said. It is "wrong" in much the same way that "aint" is. Logically it makes ZERO SENSE to use it in a positive construction. If the inbred rednecks want to say something that means "nowadays" then why not say NOWADAYS! "Nowadays I eat pepperoni pizza" makes perfect sense. Leave it to rednecks to make up an illogical way of using a word when a perfectly good word already exists. – user54823 Oct 24 '13 at 8:15
  • Logically it makes zero sense to use "nowadays". If you want to say something that means "these days", then why not say "these days"? "These days I eat pepperoni pizza" makes perfect sense. Leave it to bjorns to make up an illogical way of using a word when a perfectly good word already exists. – RegDwigнt Oct 24 '13 at 8:46
  • And of course ain't is neither wrong nor substandard, and never was. We have dedicated questions for that, though. No need whatsoever to bring it up here. – RegDwigнt Oct 24 '13 at 8:48

Heh. That felt wrong to me as well, until I started peeving about it on this very site, and promptly got called to order by a linguist, and rightfully so.

Anyhow, see Wikipedia:

While any more is typically a negative/interrogative polarity item used in negative, interrogative, or hypothetical contexts, speakers of some dialects of English use it in positive or affirmative contexts, with a meaning similar to nowadays or from now on.

Positive anymore occurs in North American English, especially in the Midlands variety spoken in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri; its usage extends to Utah and some other western US states. [It] also occurs in parts of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It goes on to list examples of usage as found in Wisconsin, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Northern Ireland, dating back all the way to 1898.

Wiktionary marks the positive any more as colloquial, chiefly Northern Ireland, US.

Lastly, Merriam-Webster has the following usage discussion:

In many regions of the United States the use of anymore in sense ["at the present time, now"] is quite common in positive constructions, especially in speech <everybody's cool anymore — Bill White> <every time we leave the house anymore, I play a game called “Stump the Housebreaker” — Erma Bombeck>. The positive use appears to have been of Midland origin, but it is now reported to be widespread in all speech areas of the United States except New England.

  • Harvard's Dialect Survey had four questions on this use of anymore (#'s 54-57). Their mapped results are accessed by clicking on the questions. – Callithumpian Apr 29 '11 at 16:25
  • There's another question somewhere about this, and I was surprised to see that the meaning of positive anymore is (e.g., in the first person) "I didn't use to, but now I do," so it's the opposite of negative anymore: "I used to, but now I don't". So the definition in Merriam-Webster is incorrect. – Peter Shor Oct 16 '12 at 16:49

I would say that 'anymore' is a negative polarity item, meaning that it's supposed to be used in a negative context. Example: "I don't want to go to school anymore" and "I don't want to argue about this anymore."

Your example sentence, "Anymore, I eat pizza with pepperoni," is substandard English, but substandard doesn't mean you won't hear it. People use substandard expressions all the time and I think it's usually ok as long as they aren't writing something formal. This particular example bothers me, but I'm not going to say nobody can use it because I don't like it.

I also think there's a difference between "I will not eat any more pizza" and "I don't eat pizza anymore" (look at the spacing). In this case both "I will eat any more pizza" and "I eat pizza anymore" would be incorrect. The positive versions of these sentences would be "I will eat more pizza" and "I eat pizza now" or "I eat pizza nowadays."


  • Nice discriminations (and a good link). When I first heard this expression in the Ozarks in 1983 my immediate reaction was that it was a very reasonable 'back-antonym' of 'not any more' (in my youth 'any more' was still written as two words) – StoneyB Oct 16 '12 at 15:16
  • @Valerie: I'm interested in your use of the phrase 'substandard English'. 'Standard English' is of course a well-known collocation or even compound, and is reasonably well-defined. There are a mere 1000 or so hits on Google for 'substandard English', but some of these refer to academic articles using the phrase almost, it would seem, as a single descriptor rather than adjective + noun. Which is your take on the expression? – Edwin Ashworth Oct 16 '12 at 16:41

Anymore is used colloquially in Northern Irland and USA in positive constructions to mean now, from now on.
Followed by than it also mean to a greater extend than: I don't like Monet any more than I like Picasso.

The sentence you wrote means

From now on, I eat pizza with pepperoni.

  • 1
    Apparenly opinion is divided about the equivalence of "anymore" and "any more". – Benjol Jan 27 '11 at 6:13
  • 1
    i wouldn't think you would use 'anymore than', you would use 'any more than' – Mebigfatguy Jan 27 '11 at 6:20
  • "...to mean now, from now on." interesting. I've always viewed any more, as meaning something in the past has stopped now, and has nothing to do with the future. – Mebigfatguy Jan 27 '11 at 6:21
  • The NOAD (New Oxford American Dictionary) has an entry for anymore, and reports any more as a possible alternative. – kiamlaluno Jan 27 '11 at 6:30

If it's any consolation

Anymore, I eat pizza with pepperoni

sounds just wrong to me too...

But I'm not from Northern Ireland or USA.


One of the definitions of "anymore" is "now" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anymore

like "These days, I don't eat pizza", or "Now I don't eat pizza"

Seems like an acceptable usage.

protected by RegDwigнt Oct 24 '13 at 8:48

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