Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.
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.
Anytime is generally used as an adverb that means 'at any time.'
- 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.'
- Anytime you want to meet at the gym, give me a call.
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.
- 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.
- 'Any time' is a good time to do something nice for someone else.
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.'
- 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.
However, the reverse is not true. For example:
- If you get scared at 'any time' during the night, call me.
In this sentence, 'any time' is functioning as a noun in an adverbial phrase. It would not be grammatically correct to say, 'If you get scared at 'anytime' during the night, call me.'
|Word||Part of Speech||Use|
|Anytime||Adverb; subordinating conjunction||May not function as a noun|
|Any Time||Adverb; noun; part of adverbial clause||Safe to use in any circumstance|
Both 'anytime' and 'any time' function as adverbs meaning 'at any time.' Anytime is also used as a subordinating conjunction. Any time may function as a noun in an adverbial clause. Any could be an adjective modifying the noun 'time' in lieu of the two functioning as a modifier for another part of speech. When in doubt, using the two words 'any time' is always appropriate.
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