Anytime vs. Any Time

As you can see, 'anytime' and 'any time' are quite similar, but it's better if you learn the little details. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

"Anytime" vs. "Any Time in English

What Are Their Main Differences?

The main difference is that 'anytime' and 'any time' have different parts of speech. 'Any Time' is a noun phrase, whereas 'anytime' is mainly an adverb.

Any time

'Any time' consists of a determiner 'any' and a noun 'time'. Together it is a noun phrase. It mainly functions as a noun for prepositional phrases or it can come alone as the subject of the sentence. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

Something horrible might happen any time.

Here, 'any time' is a noun and it is the subject of a sentence.

Flight number 567 will board at any time now.

As you can see, 'any time' is the object of a prepositional phrase.


It might be useful to know that 'any time' is mainly used with the preposition 'at'.


'Anytime' can have different grammatical functions in a sentence. It can be an adverb, an adjective, and a pro-sentence. We will analyze each separately:

  • As an adverb, 'anytime' mainly modifies verbs, other adverbs or adjectives. Look below:

The guests might arrive anytime.

Here, 'anytime' is modifying a verb so it has come after it.

Chelsea can pay her a visit anytime now.

In this example, 'anytime' is modifying another adverb of time and has been used before it.

  • Sometimes, 'anytime' is used as a prepositive adjective and modifies nouns meaning that something can be used at any time we want:

Unfortunately, coffee is an anytime drink for him.

As you can see, 'anytime' is modifying the noun after it.

People who believe pizzas are anytime snacks do not have healthy lifestyles.


Note that we only use 'anytime' as an adjective in informal spoken English, not in formal, written one.

  • Interestingly, we can use 'any time' as a complete sentence when someone thanks us. Here, it functions as a pro-sentence:

A : Thank you so much, Mathew.

B : Anytime, Hanna!

Anytime they try to discuss important matters, the child starts crying.

Joseph talks a lot anytime he calls me.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although they both have the same meaning, they cannot be used interchangeably due to their different grammatical functions. Compare:

✓ The interviewer must arrive at any time now.

X The interviewer must arrive at anytime now.

As you can see, 'anytime' cannot be the object of a prepositional phrase.


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