Anyone or Any One?

What Is the Difference between "Anyone" and "Any one"?

"Anyone" and "any one" sound the same, but they have different meanings. So, that space is important! "Anyone" and "any one" are not interchangeable.
The Quick Answer


(pronoun) "anybody"
  • Can anyone help me? correct tick

Any One

(noun phrase) "any" or "one less than any two"
  • Help yourself to any one of the cakes. correct tick
anyone or any one difference
"Anyone" and "any one" are easy to confuse. "Anyone" is similar in meaning to "anybody." It is only used for people. "Any one" is similar in meaning to "any." For example:
  • Would anyone like to order a pizza? correct tick
  • ("Anyone" can usually be replaced with "anybody.")
  • Would anybody like to order a pizza? correct tick
  • I think you will enjoy any one of these films. correct tick
  • (In the term "any one," "one" will usually represent a nearby noun. In this example, it represents the noun "film." "Any one" can often be replaced with "any." )
  • I think you will enjoy any of these films. correct tick

Quick Test on Anyone and Any One

It's your go. Select the correct one:

Top Tip

Use "any one," if you can do any of the following:
  • Remove the word "any."
  • Remove the word "one."
  • Use the term "any two."

More about "Anyone" and "Any One"

Anyone. "Anyone" is an indefinite pronoun used for people. It is similar to "anybody." So, if you can replace it with "anybody," then "anyone" (as one word) is correct.

Any One

In the term "any one," the word "one" is an indefinite pronoun. However, unlike "anyone," it can be used for anything (not just people). For example:
  • Any one of those cars would get you to the coast. correct tick
  • (In this example, "one" represents "car.")
Note: There is no hyphen in "any one."


Here are some example sentences with "anyone":
  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. correct tick (Physicist Albert Einstein)
  • Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. correct tick (Author Franz Kafka)
  • I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink. correct tick (Comedian Joe E Lewis)

Any One

Here are some example sentences with "any one":
  • Any one of those cakes is delicious. correct tick
  • My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense. correct tick (Comedian Fred Allen)
In the examples above, the word "any" is an indefinite determiner that modifies the indefinite pronoun "one." In the two examples below, the expression "any one" is not an indefinite adjective and an indefinite pronoun like in the examples above. It is an indefinite adjective and the number "one." For example:
  • You can't call any one person the devil because no one person has the power to be the devil. correct tick (Rapper DMX)
  • At any one time, language is a kaleidoscope of styles, genres, and dialects. correct tick (Linguist David Crystal)
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.