Anybody vs. Anyone in English Grammar

What Is Their Difference?

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

Anybody vs. Anyone

'Anyone' and 'anybody' basically have the same meaning. They both mean 'any person'. Although they can be used interchangeably, they have subtle differences in their meanings.

Main Difference

  1. If a person uses 'Anyone' in questions and statements, the speaker is looking to find only one person.
  2. If a person uses 'Anybody' in questions and statements, the speaker is looking to find any number of individual persons.

Anyone

'Anyone' is consisted of two parts: 'any' and 'one'. It is the singular form of the word. It means any single person without differentiating one person from many.

Does anyone have a question ?

Is anyone there ?

Is there anyone who can spare a dollar ?

In all the examples above, the speaker's intent is to find just one individual person, not a multitude of people.

Anybody

'Anybody is the plural form of the word. It means any possible people. We use 'anybody' to address a group of several people.
In a context where we don't intend to find only one person, we want to address a group, for example:

Does anybody here have a dollar ?

Is there anybody who can speak Spanish ?

In the examples above, we are trying to find any and all persons who can respond, any number of people, not only one single individual.

'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 Making

'Anyone' and 'anybody' are not negative makers, i.e. they don't have a negative meaning on their own.

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

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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