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When I read books in English, I see sometimes there is a space between "any" and "one" and sometimes there is not any space. So, what is the difference between "anyone" and "any one"?

  • I am sure this has been asked before here. I trust you searched this platform before posting this question. – BiscuitBoy Jan 14 '16 at 5:00
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The word anyone refers to a single person. If any one is used by itself, it means the same as anyone, but it is preferred for it to be spelled without the space. If any one is used with something else (e.g. any one of them) it can mean something completely different.

In summary, almost all the time you should use anyone, but any one is also an acceptable spelling.

  • This is wrong. Anyone refers to a single person; any one refers to one member of any set, whether of persons or things. In the sentence "I could not love anyone but you", only anyone will do. – deadrat Jan 14 '16 at 5:15
  • That is what I said. "The word anyone refers to a single person." I said that anyone almost always is a replacement for any one, but not the other way around. – AMACB Jan 14 '16 at 5:25
  • No, you said that "any one" is an acceptable spelling. It is, but not for anyone. I don't know how you came to the conclusion that you should use anyone "almost all the time." The two have different meanings, and each should be used as is appropriate to the context. – deadrat Jan 14 '16 at 5:28
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The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) states regarding any one:

"The two-word form any one is not the same as the one-word form anyone and the two forms cannot be used interchangeably. Any one means ‘any single (person or thing)’, as in: not more than twelve new members are admitted in any one year."

Meanwhile, the one word form anyone is defined as follows:

anyone

Line breaks: any¦one Pronunciation: /ˈɛnɪwʌn/

Definition of anyone in English: pronoun

1 [USUALLY WITH NEGATIVE OR IN QUESTIONS] Any person or people: there wasn’t anyone there does anyone remember him? I was afraid to tell anyone

1.1 [WITHOUT NEGATIVE] Used for emphasis: anyone could do it

2 A person of importance or authority: they are read by anyone who’s anyone

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