No One vs. Anyone in English Grammar

Which One to Choose?

'No one' and 'anyone' are both indefinite pronouns that are used to refer to no person or thing in particular. Here, we will discuss these two pronouns.

No One vs. Anyone

'Anyone' refers to 'any person at all, no matter who' (we use it when it doesn't matter who the person is). Remember that In this case, the word 'anyone' is always written together as one word without any space between 'any' and 'one'.

Anyone can participate in this contest .

Did you see anyone ?

The only way you might see the noun phrase 'any one' (with space between them) is when we want to refer to a member of a certain group.

Any one of these people can win the lottery .

'Who do you think did this ? ' 'It could be any one of those kids . '

'No one' is another indefinite pronoun that refers to the absence of a person, i.e. it means 'not anyone; no person'. Sometimes, writers write 'no one' with a dash: 'no-one'.

No one was able to break Allison's record .

No one is at home . Let's go out to dinner .

'Anyone' can be used in negative sentences and questions. But, 'no one' is a negative marker by itself and it can make a sentence negative.

No one was at home .

The verb is positive, but the sentence is negative, because of 'no one' which is a negative marker.

Can't anyone help you out ?

The sentence is negative, because the verb is negative, not because of 'anyone'.

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