Anyone vs. Any One – Usage & Difference

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is there a difference between “anyone” and “any one”? You might not think it because they look the same, sound the same, and have the same meaning. Oh, but wait! That’s where you’re wrong; they don’t have the same meaning and are used in different contexts. I’ll explain the key difference so you never get them confused again.

Anyone vs. Any One

Anyone vs. Any One Usage Difference

“Anyone” is considered an indefinite pronoun, and we use it to refer to any person or people in general without having to specify. You’ll find it more common where a person’s identity isn’t clear or is in question.

  • Does anyone have the time?

This question opens up the idea that any person in the room might know the time.

Then we have “any one,” which is a combination of the adjective “any” and the pronoun “one.” You use it to single out a specific person or an item from a group.

  • I would love to meet any one of my favorite authors.

This statement shows that I have several favorite authors and would be happy to meet either.

Anyones or Anyone’s?

If you’re talking about the correct possessive form of “anyone,” then it’s “anyone’s.” Adding an apostrophe followed by an “s” is absolutely necessary to show possession.

When to Use Anyone

Use the word “anyone” when you want to refer to an unspecified person within quantities of people.

When to Use Any One

Use the noun phrase “any one” when you want to single out a specific person or item from a larger group or idea.

How Do You Use Anyone in a Sentence?

Anyone vs. Any One Usage Difference 1
  • Anyone can learn to play guitar or piano with enough practice; it’s not that hard.
  • Please let me know if anyone has seen my keys around the office because I’ve lost them yet again.
  • Hey, that writing workshop at the local college is open to anyone interested in improving their writing skills. Want to go?
  • I’m stumped. Does anyone know the answer to the fifth question?
  • Grandma’s meatloaf recipe is simple enough for anyone to follow, so it’s a great beginner meal for the kids to learn.

How Do You Use Any One in a Sentence?

  • I know my wife would be happy to get any one of the books on her wish list for Christmas.
  • Andy, you can choose any one of the desserts from the menu, my treat.
  • Any one of the candidates we interviewed would be an awesome fit for the position we have open.
  • I couldn’t decide which dress to bring for the trip, so I told my sister to pick any one of the clothes from my closet.
  • My son’s soccer coach said that any one of the players could be selected for the all-star team for next year.

Trick to Remember the Difference

The way I remember is that with “any one,” you’re isolating the words, and the meaning behind it is to single out or isolate a certain person or thing. Hope that helps!

The More You Know!

Does it make sense now? Like I said earlier, I know they seem like they’d be interchangeable, but they’re definitely not. So be sure to remember what I’ve taught you here, and you’ll be just fine. Use “any one” to single out and “anyone” to refer to someone within a bunch of people. 

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