Is There a Difference?
Are 'anything' and 'any thing' both acceptable words in standard English? If yes, are they interchangeable? If no, which one is correct?
Anything vs. Any Thing
'Anything' is an indefinite pronoun that means a thing of any kind. Note that 'anything' is used more commonly than '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.
- place another adjective between any and thing.
'any thing' is any is an indefinite determiner modifying the noun 'thing'. 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'.
We don't have the word 'anythings', so, if you want to use the plural word 'things', you should say 'any things.'