Anyone and Any One

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between anyone and any one?

Anyone is similar in meaning to anybody. (Anyone can usually be replaced with anybody.) For example:
  • Would anyone like to order a pizza?
  • (Would anybody like to order a pizza? )
Any one is similar in meaning to any. (Any one can often be replaced with any.) For example:
  • I think you will enjoy any one of these films.
  • (I think you will enjoy any of these films. )
    (In the term any one, one will usually represent a nearby noun. In this example, it represents the noun film.)

Anyone and Any One

There is often confusion over anyone and any one. (Note: There is no hyphen in any one.)


Anyone (one word) is similar to anybody. (Anyone is an indefinite pronoun.)

Try substituting the anyone in these examples with anybody:
  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. (Albert Einstein)
  • Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. (Franz Kafka)
  • I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink. (Joe E Lewis)

Any One

In the term any one, the word one will usually represent a nearby noun. For example:
  • Any one of those cakes is delicious.
  • (Here, the word one represents the noun cake.)

  • My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense. (Fred Allen)
  • (Here, the word one represents the noun child.)
In the examples above, the word any is an indefinite adjective which modifies the indefinite pronoun one.

In the 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. (DMX)
  • (Here, the word one is an adjective modifying the noun person. Remember, numbers are classified as adjectives.)
  • At any one time, language is a kaleidoscope of styles, genres, and dialects. (David Crystal)
  • (Here, the word one is an adjective modifying the noun time.)
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