Difference Between Any Time and Anytime

Words could be confusing at times owing to their meaning or a similar form that has the same meaning. Due to some rules and regulations, a word needs to be used according to its function to make complete sense.

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The use of some words is considered old-fashioned and some are considered up to date. But their use may be the correct one to deliver the message correctly.

Any Time vs Anytime

The difference between ‘Any time’ and Anytime is that ‘Any time’ is a very formal way that means “whenever” whereas Anytime is an informal and rather new way of saying the same. The word anytime is used as an adverb of time. Anytime can only be used as an adverb. Anytime cannot be preceded by a preposition such as ‘at’. Also, when we are referring to an amount of time, we must stick to the two-word version that is Any time.

Any Time vs Anytime

Any Time is a noun phrase and must be used that way. It is equal in meaning to anytime, its contracted form when used as an adverb clause.

It can be used as a noun clause, but when we use it as an adverb clause, it must be used with a preposition such as ‘at’. This form is used when the word ‘any’ is used to qualify the word time.

It can also be used as a subordinate clause as in “anytime you want to eat lasagna, use my restaurant.”

Anytime is a contraction of two words ‘any’ and ‘time’. It emerged as an accepted grammatical mistake and is used as an adverb. It means whenever. It is an informal word that can be used as an adverb only.

To understand its usage correctly one can try replacing it with another adverb and if it fits the context grammatically then it can be used without any problem. For example, “We can party anytime because it is a holiday today”.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAny TimeAnytime
DefinitionIt is a noun clause.It is an adverb.
Use as an adverbIt can be used as an adverb clause with the preposition ‘at’. It can only be used as an adverb, not an adverb clause.
Formal usageIt can be used in a formal sense. It cannot be used in a formal sense.
Other usagesThis form is used when the word any is acts as an adjective for the word ‘time’.It can only be used as an adverb.
ExampleI don’t have any time for the discussion.I am available anytime.

What is Any Time?

Any time is a formal noun phrase used in the sense of ‘any amount of time’. Its usage is always grammatically correct. It can be used to qualify a verb as an adverb clause when used with the preposition ‘at’.

This phrase is also used when the word ‘any’ is used as an adjective to the word ‘time’. Any time can’t be used as a modifier on its own. It can be used in place of ‘anytime’ which is its contracted form.

Any time is a conventional and old form and is considered standard by a lot of people. Its use gives the sense, that something is to happen soon but the time is not certain.

It gives a probability of happening something, that is not very strong. Any time is a phrase that is versatile in its usage and can be used without any grammatical issue.

Its various usage is illustrated here with examples: –

As a noun clause in an adverb clause: – You cannot disturb me at any time in the morning.

As a noun phrase: – ‘Any Time’ is a good time to start a new hobby.

When any is a modifier for time: – If you can spare any time for me, it would be awesome.

What is Anytime?

Anytime is a modifier that modifies an adverb. Although, it has the same meaning as ‘Any Time’ it can only be used as an adverb. Anytime is a grammatical blunder that became popular by its frequent usage.

The word is now accepted by everyone. It is considered an informal word so if the context is formal two-word version must be considered.

Anytime can also be considered as a contraction of its two-word version. Its wide usage is a result of a phenomenon called casualism that means a word that becomes vogue by mistake.

Casualism such as these become a norm due to their wide acceptance in vernacular. The use of ‘anytime’ however is limited to that of an adverb and can cause confusion at times.

When you are unsure whether its usage is correct or not it is good to replace it with the two-version which is any time.

Another way to understand its correct use is to replace it with some other equally compatible adverbs. If they fit the context then you are good to go otherwise you can always stick to its two-word version.

Here are a few examples to make the context clear: –

You can talk to me anytime.

Everyone can leave anytime, we must start the party.

Hurry up! they will be here anytime soon. (In this sentence, it has been used in an idiom.)

Main Differences Between Any Time and Anytime

  1. Any time is used as a noun clause, whereas anytime is used as an adverb.
  2. Anytime can be used in an informal sense, whereas any time is used in a formal sense.
  3. Any time is the grammatically accepted and correct form, whereas anytime is a grammatically incorrect form.
  4. Anytime is a modifier, but any time cannot act as a modifier on its own.
  5. Any time can be used as a modifier when it is a part of a modifying clause with ‘at’ preceding it but anytime is used as a modifier without any preposition.
Difference Between Any Time and Anytime

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=z_VmtjAU01YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=how+to+use+anytime+as+a+word+oxford&ots=6JdJbh0UD0&sig=goM4tmJv-JWQXucoagROxYxEAhU
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=J4i3zV4vnBAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=how+to+use+any+time+as+a+word+oxford&ots=aGv7VMuIzg&sig=WRSJpfNTGxqBw3C9DLzmlD5KiZ8

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