Anybody vs. Anyone

When should we use 'anybody' versus 'anyone'? What is their difference? Are they have the same meaning? Let's find out!

"Anybody" vs. "Anyone" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both 'anyone' and 'anybody' can refer to any one of the people in a group. They are indefinite pronouns for unspecified individuals. The main difference is formality: 'anyone' is more formal and commonly found in formal contexts, while 'anybody' is informal and used in spoken language.

'Anyone'

'Anyone" is an indefinite pronoun that refers to an unspecified or unknown person. It is used to indicate that any person, regardless of identity or number, is included in the statement or question. Here are some examples:

Does anyone have a question?

As you can see, 'anyone' is grammatically is singular word.

Is anyone there?

Is there anyone who can spare a dollar?

'Anybody'

'Anybody' is also an indefinite pronoun that serves a similar purpose to 'anyone.' It refers to an unspecified or unknown person and is used to indicate that any person, singular or plural, is included. For example:

Does anybody here have a dollar?

As you can see, 'anybody' is also a singular word grammatically.

Is there anybody who can speak Spanish?

'They' Referring back to Anyone/Anybody

In a sentence where we have used indefinite pronouns like 'anyone' or 'anybody', and we do not know if the person is man or woman, we often use the plural pronoun 'they' to refer back to them.

If anyone has a question, they can ask Mr. Turner.

Negative Marker

'Anyone' and 'anybody' are not negative markers, i.e. they do not have a negative meaning on their own.

I don't want to see anyone. (Not I want to see anyone)

Level of Formality

The main and important difference between them is their level of formality. 'Anyone' is a bit more formal than 'anybody'. 'Anyone' is used more in writing and more formal styles than 'anybody'.

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