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

'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 a singular 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 a plural 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 Marker

'Anyone' and 'anybody' are not negative markers, 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'.

  • linkedin
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • facebook
  • email

You might also like

Anybody vs. Any Body

'Anybody' is an indefinite pronoun. But what about 'any body?' Is 'any body' correct? If so, what does it mean? Here, we will discuss these two words.

Anybody vs. Everybody

What is the difference between the two indefinite pronouns of 'anybody' and 'everybody'? In this part, we will go through their meanings one by one.

Anybody vs. Anybody Else

What is the difference between 'anybody' and 'anybody else'? What does the adverb 'else' mean in this phrase? Here, we will discuss these two.

Anyone vs. Any One

Are 'anyone' and 'any one' both correct words in English? Do they have the same meaning? Can we use them interchangeably? Let's find out.

Anyone vs. Someone

'Anyone' and 'someone' are both indefinite pronouns that refer to an unidentified person. But despite their similarities, are they identical?

Anyone vs. Anyone Else

What is the difference between 'anyone' and 'anyone else'? Do they have different meanings? Here, we will discuss these two.