Anything vs. Any Thing

Are 'anything' and 'any thing' both acceptable words in standard English? If yes, are they interchangeable? If no, which one is correct?

Can They Be Used Interchangeably?

The short answer is no. 'Anything' is an indefinite pronoun that means a thing of any kind.

Note that 'anything' is used more commonly than 'any thing'.

Any thing

'Any thing' is NOT considered a pronoun. Rather, it is a noun phrase. We use it when we want to:

  • emphasize that we are referring to any object not a person or an animal or thoughts and ideas.

This object can fit into any thing.

  • place another adjective between any and thing.

Any small thing can change the course of actions.

If you want to put another adjective between 'any' and 'thing', you need 'any thing' as opposed to 'anything'.

  • refer to 'things', not 'a thing'.

Any things found on the crime scene will be confiscated.

What about 'Anythings'?

We don't have the word 'anythings', so, if you want to use the plural word 'things', you should say 'any things.'

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