Is it "any time" or "anytime" or are those two things different?

  • Can you give a context where you've seen those two? Otherwise, what did a dictionary say? or google for them? – Mitch Jun 1 '12 at 12:57

One may write

Call me anytime

Call me any time

Call me at any time

but not

*Call me at anytime

because anytime is used as an adverb and not a noun.

  • +1. It's still not clear. What is anytime anyway? preposition? Adjective adverb? pronoun? What? – user4951 Jun 1 '12 at 8:12
  • Why not? and Why so? – user4951 Jun 1 '12 at 8:13
  • @Jim: have you checked a dictionary? What did it say? – RegDwigнt Jun 1 '12 at 13:40
  • So anytime is an adverb and "any time" is an adverb phrase. Am I correct here? They are used interchangeably. Why call me at anytime is wrong? – user4951 Jun 2 '12 at 14:24
  • @JimThio In “Call me any time”, your any time is an NP being used adverbially. You know it is an NP because any is a determiner. – tchrist Aug 26 '13 at 19:17

Here is the explanation: "At" is a preposition, so it must be followed by a noun. The noun in the example is "time." "Any" is an adjective modifying the noun "time." It's like "Call me at four o'clock. Call me at night. Call me at any hour of the day or night." But "anytime" is an adverb, like "anyhow" or "anyway." It's like "Call me early" or "Call me occasionally." So why did the answer indicate that "Call me any time" is also acceptable? Because using "anytime" is more informal. The word does not even appear in the Webster's New World Dictionary of 1988. However, it does appear in the online dictionary (dictionary.reference.com). Evidently, the use of "anytime" has become more acceptable.

protected by tchrist Aug 30 '15 at 12:36

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