Battle of the Words: Anytime versus Any time


This word battle is all about a single word (anytime) versus a phrase (any time). You probably say these words often, but have you ever wondered what the difference is when you’re trying to write these words out?

The good news is that this usage is pretty simple. You just need to remember a few tips.

1. The word anytime is synonymous with whenever:

  • I am ready to leave this boring party anytime you are ready. (I am ready to leave whenever)
  • Gerald can install the new fixtures anytime. (Gerald can install the new fixtures whenever)

2. Another nifty trick to remember is that anytime functions as an adverb. Since adverbs can answer the question of “when?” you can change your statement into a question to test your usage:

  • When can we leave this boring party? Anytime/Whenever you are ready.
  • When can Gerald install the new fixtures? Anytime/Whenever.

3. On the other hand, the phrase any time implies any amount of time and will not make sense if you substitute a single word:

  • Do you have any time to look over my resume? (Do you have any amount of time?)
  • Is there any time left on your calendar? (Is any amount of time left?)

4. Perhaps the easiest trick if you’re in a bind is to try substituting whenever. If that single word does not make sense, then chances are you will not use the single word anytime.

Try out these usage tips the next time you’re perfecting your writing skills!


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