Anything vs. Nothing in English Grammar

The Difference between 'Anything' and 'Nothing'

'Nothing' and 'anything' are two indefinite pronouns that have similar meanings. But they are used differently in a sentence. Let's check these two out!

Anything vs. Nothing

'Anything' and 'nothing' are two examples of indefinite pronouns that have similar meanings. However, they cannot be used interchangeably.

Anything

We use 'anything' to refer to an open, unlimited set of things that we do not mind what that thing is. It can be a thing either seen or unseen. We use 'anything' with a singular verb.
'Anything' can be used in questions and negative sentences.

Can I do anything to help ?

You can do anything you want .

We don't have anything to eat . Let's go out .

We use anything with sentences that have a negative sense, but not necessarily a negative verb.

He said hardly anything .

We often use anything after 'if'.

If anything happens to us , take care of our child .

Nothing

Remember that 'anything' referred to the presence of something (it doesn't matter what), it can be seen or unseen.
On the other hand, 'nothing' refers to the absence of something, it means there is not a thing. It can also be seen or unseen too.

He ate nothing for dinner .

'Nothing' has a negative meaning by itself, therefore it is mostly used in affirmative sentences. If we use 'nothing' in a negative sentence (with negative verbs) we have committed the error of 'double negation'.

Nothing can be done here .

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