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. "Everybody" in the English Grammar

What Is the Difference?

'Anybody' refers to an individual in a group; it does not matter which person.
'Everybody' refers to all the members of a group.

Does everybody want tea?

If the answer is yes, it means all of the people in the group want tea. If the answer is no, it means all don't want tea.

Does anybody want tea?

If the answer is yes, it means at least one person wants tea. If the answer is no, it means nobody wants tea.

'Anybody'

'Anybody' means any possible people. In a context where we do not intend to find only one person and we want to address a group, we use 'anybody', for example:

'Anybody' is a pronoun that refers to no specific person.

Anybody can win the lottery. It's just a matter of chance.

Is there anybody who can help me?

'Everybody'

'Everybody' refers to all the people in a group. It refers to every single individual in a group.

Everybody knows him. He's a movie star.

Ask everybody. They all agree with me.

When Can We Use 'Anybody'?

'Anybody' is usually used:

  1. in negative statements
  2. in affirmative statements with negative meaning
  3. in questions
  4. in conditional clauses
  5. for emphasis

Jake knows anybody in his school.

This is one example of affirmative sentences that we cannot use 'anybody' in it.

Jake knows everybody in his school.

This example is correct.

However, sometimes they can be used interchangeably.

Everybody wants to love and be loved.

Anybody wants to love and be loved.

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