Any time you learn a new language, its vocabulary might need to be clarified. In English, people are often confused about when to use anytime or any time. Let’s examine the differences between the two and answer a very important question: is it any time or anytime?
Is It Anytime or Any Time?
Anytime is considered an adverb, while any time is a noun phrase. Generally, any time written as two separate words is foolproof, but it might be considered old-fashioned in written English. We use anytime when we can replace it with “whenever.” It’s best to use the two-word phrase any time when we need a preposition before it or when referring to an unknown period.
Anytime vs. Any Time: Correct Usage
Understanding the difference between anytime and any time can be a tricky concept. The former describes something that happens constantly, whereas the latter refers to an occurrence of a single event at an unspecified time.
For example, one may say, “I can come by anytime.” This sentence implies that they will come often or repeatedly. But it’s also appropriate to say, “I can come by any time,” which means that it could occur at some point in the future, but no specific or set timing has been established for the occurrence.
This subtle yet important distinction is worth keeping in mind when using these terms in spoken and written English.
How Do You Use the Word Anytime in a Sentence?
We use “anytime” as an adverb. To make sure it is an adverb, try replacing it with another adverb and see if the sentence still makes sense. Anytime is also used as a subordinating conjunction.
Here are some sentence examples:
- Anytime we crave pizza, we just order it from our favorite Italian restaurant.
- I will always be available to help you anytime, anywhere.
- If you need some help, you can reach out anytime!
Note: For a long time, any time was always written as two separate words. If you are ever in doubt, you can still write the two-word version, and it will be grammatically correct.
How Do You Use Any Time in a Sentence?
When written with two separate words, any time is a noun phrase that indicates something will happen “at any given time.” It is also the correct choice to use every time there is a preposition preceding it.
- I will gladly help you with your research if I have any time available.
- You can stop by at any time between 1 and 5 p.m.
- I expect our guests will arrive at any time.
- Sarah should be home. She said to stop by any time after work.
- I will be going to the festival any time tomorrow.
Anytime or Any Time: When to Use Each One
There’s little difference in meaning, but there are a few simple rules that hint at when you should use each of these:
- Anytime is an adverb and follows the same usage rules as other adverbs.
- Anytime doesn’t work with prepositions.
- When referring to an amount of time, we use any time.
- Correct: We can meet tomorrow at any time you want.
- Incorrect: We can meet tomorrow at anytime you want.
- Correct: Feel free to visit me anytime!
- Correct: Feel free to visit me any time next week.
- Correct: Do you have any time to stop by the supermarket today?
- Incorrect: Do you have anytime to stop by the supermarket today?
The one-word form anytime is an adverb meaning constantly, while any time refers to a single occurrence happening at some point in the future. But any time is a noun phrase and refers to a quantity of time.
Use anytime when it follows the same usage rules as other adverbs, and use any time when there is a preposition preceding it.