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.
- If a person uses 'Anyone' in questions and statements, the speaker is looking to find only one person.
- If a person uses 'Anybody' in questions and statements, the speaker is looking to find any number of individual persons.
'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.
In all the examples above, the speaker's intent is to find just one individual person, not a multitude of people.
'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:
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.
'Anyone' and 'anybody' are not negative makers, i.e. they don't have a negative meaning on their own.
Level of Formality
'Anyone' is a bit more formal than 'anybody'. 'Anyone' is used more in writing and more formal styles than 'anybody'.