Anyone vs Anybody
The difference between anyone and anybody is in the usage and not in the meaning of the two words. There are many pairs of words in English language that are confusing because they mean almost the same, and it becomes very difficult to decide which one to use in a particular context. This becomes evident when one is faced with words like anyone and anybody. Ask a person about the difference between anyone and anybody, and most will say that they are synonymous and can be used interchangeably. Let us find out whether they can be used interchangeably or not.
What does Anyone mean?
Anyone is a word that carries the meaning any person. Anyone is used to address to people in general. When an anchor is carrying a program where hundreds are in the audience, and he asks a question that he wants someone from the audience to answer, he says, “Does anyone in the audience know the answer to this question?” This means anyone is used to address his audience in general. Also, anyone is a word that is more formal in nature. That can also explain why an anchor is using anyone. The anchor does not know all his audience. So, he is using the formal approach. As we all know, if we do not know someone then we behave formally.
Anyone is also used in negative sentences.
I have not told anyone about our little adventure.
The minister was not sure if anyone in the room was trustworthy.
In both of the sentences given above, the word anyone is used to indicate any person. Also, as you can see both are negative sentences.
Anyone is also used in questions.
Is anyone interested in another story?
Is anyone going to come?
Both of the above sentences are questions. So, that proves that anyone is also used in questions when the person asking the question is not sure who will respond.
What does Anybody mean?
Anybody also carries the same meaning as anyone. That means anybody also means any person. On the other hand, anybody is used in a casual manner or in less formal occasions such as when one shouts in front of a home anybody home? Anybody is also used in smaller groups of people. So, you can see that out of the two words, anybody is the less formal one. As a result, you will see people using anybody in spoken English very much.
Usage of anybody is sometimes seen in negative sentences such as this.
Anybody who gets caught by the cops won’t be a part of the team anymore.
I can’t see anybody in the living room.
In the above sentence, the word anybody is used to mean any person. Both of these sentences are negative ones. In the first sentences, the context seems very colloquial as the speaker uses the word cops to refer to police officers. In the second sentence, also the context appears to be casual as someone is making an observation. So, in these situations, the word anybody is used.
Anybody is also used in questions.
Will anybody come to the party?
Can I trust anybody?
Here, the word anybody is used in two questions. This shows that both anybody and anyone are words that are used in negatives sentences as well as in question forms.
What is the difference between Anyone and Anybody?
• Both anyone and anybody carry the same meaning. Both anyone and anybody mean any person.
• The thing to remember is that both anyone and anybody have the same prefix in any, and it is only the suffix that is different.
• Formal or Informal:
• Anyone is considered as the more formal of the two.
• Anybody is considered the less formal or the informal term out of anyone and anybody.
• Anyone is used mostly in writing.
• Anybody is used in speaking.
• Even if you interchange the words, it does not cause a huge problem.
• Negative Sentences:
• Both anyone and anybody are used in negative sentences.
• Both anyone and anybody are used in questions.
As you can see, both anyone and anybody mean the same. As a result, even though the context in which they are used is different, interchanging them does not create much of a problem.