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Anytime vs Any Time

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine the differences between 'any time' and 'anytime.' Further, we will look at some examples in which these words are used correctly and will learn the criteria for correctly writing your own sentences using anytime/any time. Updated: 07/24/2020

Anytime or Any Time?

What is the difference between 'any time' and 'anytime'? Until about 90 years ago, only one would have been considered correct for any use. Since that time, 'anytime' has been added to the dictionary and the differences between using one or two words has been established. Let's find out more.

The word anytime was added to the dictionary almost 100 years ago.
The word anytime was added to the dictionary almost 100 years ago

Anytime

Anytime is generally used as an adverb that means 'at any time.'

For example:

  • You can stop by to visit 'anytime.'

Anytime is also used as a subordinating conjunction. A subordinating conjunction links a dependent clause to an independent clause. When used in this capacity, anytime means 'every time.'

For example:

  • Anytime you want to meet at the gym, give me a call.

Any Time

Any time would be used as a noun when it is part of an adverbial clause. An adverbial clause is two or more words that come together to function as an adverb.

For example:

  • If at any time you become hungry or thirsty, help yourself to anything in the refrigerator.

Another occasion when 'any time' is two words is when 'any' is an adjective modifying the noun, 'time.' Using one word 'anytime' indicates that it is a modifier, while 'any time' does not function as a modifier.

For example:

  • 'Any time' is a good time to do something nice for someone else.

No Parking Any Time sign where any is an adjective modifying the noun time.
No Parking Any Time sign where any is an adjective modifying the noun time

Any Time: the Safe Choice

If you are unsure about whether or not you should use 'anytime' or 'any time,' you are safe if you choose to make it two words as many dismiss the word 'anytime' as being an Americanized version of 'any time.'

For example:

  • Anytime she writes down her thoughts, she realizes that things are not as bad as they seem.

'Anytime' is appropriately used in this sentence. However, it would not be a mistake to say:

  • Any time she writes down her thoughts, she realizes that things are not as bad as they seem.

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