Anything vs. Any Thing in English Grammar

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.

This object can fit into any thing .

  • place another adjective between any and thing.

Any small thing can change the course of actions .

'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'.

Any things found on the crime scene will be confiscated .

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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