Anyone or Any One?

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Anyone or Any One?

What is the difference between "anyone" and "any one"?
  • "Anyone" is similar in meaning to "anybody." It is only used for people. For example:
    • Would anyone like to order a pizza?
    • ("Anyone" can usually be replaced with "anybody.")
    • Would anybody like to order a pizza? )
  • "Any one" is similar in meaning to "any." For example:
    • I think you will enjoy any one of these films.
    • (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.
anyone or any one difference

More about "Anyone" and "Any One"

Anyone. The word "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.
  • (In this example, "one" represents "car.")
You should be using "any one," if you can:
  • Remove the word "any,"
  • Remove the word "one," or
  • Use the term "any two."
Note: There is no hyphen in "any one."

Read more about indefinite pronouns.

Anyone

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

Any One

Here are some example sentences with "any one":
  • Any one of those cakes is delicious.
  • My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense. (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. (Rapper DMX)
  • At any one time, language is a kaleidoscope of styles, genres, and dialects. (Linguist David Crystal)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? every body or everybody? every day or everyday? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are indefinite pronouns? Glossary of grammatical terms