Difference Between Anyone and Anybody (With Table)

English is one language that is quite tricky when it comes to aspects such as pronunciation, spellings, grammar system, structure of a sentence, etc.

The worldwide debate of why ‘put’ and ‘but’ are pronounced differently proves to be an example of how confusing the language can often be!

Grammar plays a vital role in any language system and it does in English too. There are different parts of speech that help us to categorize each word into different classes. Each class or part of speech has its own function.

One of the most important or primary rules, that must be followed in case of a sentence and its structure is the rule of number. In a sentence, the verb has to agree with its subject in terms of number and person.

In the sentence, “Ram plays with his dog”, the verb ‘plays’ agrees with the subject ‘Ram’ in terms of number. Since the subject ‘Ram’ is singular, the verb has to agree with the subject, that is, it also has to be singular, thus the verb ‘plays’.

This rule of verb agreeing with the subject in terms of number and person is called Concord. Concord refers to the agreement between the subject and verb in a sentence.

One such situation where being singular and plural is very important is in the case of two words: – ‘Anyone’ and ‘Anybody’.

Anyone vs Anybody

The difference between ‘anyone’ and ‘anybody’ is the number. While the word ‘anyone’ is used as a singular version, the word ‘anybody’ is used as a plural version.

Comparison Table Between Anyone and Anybody

Parameter of ComparisonAnyoneAnybody
 NumberAnyone is used as a singular version in a sentence.Anybody is used as a plural version in a sentence.
Suffix  The suffix in the word ‘anyone’ is ‘one’.The suffix in the word ‘anybody’ is ‘body’.
Context  The word ‘anyone’ is used to identify or call out one person from a group of many people.The word ‘anybody’ is used to identify or call out many people from a group of people.
Formal or InformalThe word ‘anyone’ is often used and preferred in formal situations, contexts and conversations.The word ‘anybody’ is often used and preferred in informal situations, contexts and conversations.
Example“Anyone can participate” is an example for how the word ‘anyone’ is used.“Anybody can win this competition” is an example for how the word ‘anybody’ is used.

What is Anyone?

As mentioned earlier, Concord refers to the agreement between the subject and verb of a sentence.

This agreement states that the verb of a sentence must agree with the subject of the sentence, both in number and person. That is, if the subject is singular, the verb following it must also be singular.

This rule applies not only to the verb in the sentence, but also to the pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and all the other words in the sentence. Each and every word used in a sentence must agree with each other.

That is, if the noun mentioned is feminine, the pronoun and adjective used in the sentence must also be feminine. It is quite important to follow this agreement, in order to adhere to the grammatical structure of English language.

The main difference between the two words ‘anyone’ and ‘anybody’ also lies within this agreement.

The word ‘anyone’ is used as a singular version in a sentence. ‘Anyone’ is often used in a singular sense in any sentence. It is the singular form of the word.

‘Anyone’ is used to pick out a person from a group of people. It refers to a single person.

In situations where a single person has to be chosen from a group of many people, the word ‘anyone’ is the best suited for this purpose.

This word has a suffix in it. Suffix refers to a few letters or a word that is attached to the main word to form another word.

The word ‘anyone’ can be split into ‘any’ and ‘one’, out of which ‘one’ is the suffix and ‘any’ is the main word. The suffix ‘one’ also points out to a single person or a singular form of a word.

The word ‘anyone’ is the more preferred word to be used in all kinds of situations and contexts. And, in case of formal conversations and purposes, the word ‘anyone’ is the most accepted.

Here are a few examples to point out how the word ‘anyone’ is used:-

  1. Has anyone seen my umbrella?
  2. Anyone can participate in this seminar.
  3. Anyone but me can survive this outing.

What is Anybody?

The word ‘anybody’ differs from the word ‘anyone’ on the aspect of number. The word ‘anybody’ is used as a plural version in a sentence.

The word ‘anybody’ is used in a plural sense in any sentence. It is the plural form of the word.

‘Anybody’ is used to pick out or call out many people from a group of people. It refers to more than one person, that is, plural.

The word ‘anybody’ is used in situations where many persons or more than one person needs to be chosen from a group of people.

This word also has a suffix in it. The word ‘anybody’ can be split into ‘any’ and ‘body’, where the word ‘body’ is the suffix. The suffix ‘body’ also points out to ‘many’ or ‘more than one person’, that is, a plural form of the word.

The word ‘anybody’ is not universally accepted to be used in all kinds of situations. ‘Anybody’ is often used in informal contexts and personal conversations.

Here are a few examples to point out how the word ‘anybody’ is used:-

  1. Anybody can win this competition and bag its prize.
  2. Not anybody can pull off this heist.
  3. Do you know anybody from down the lane?

Main Differences Between Anyone and Anybody

  1. The main difference between ‘anyone’ and ‘anybody’ is that ‘anyone’ is used as a singular version in a sentence. But ‘anybody’ is used as a plural version in a sentence.
  2. The suffix in ‘anyone’ is the word ‘one’. But the suffix in ‘anybody’ is the word ‘body’.
  3. ‘Anyone’ is used to choose a single person from a group of people. But ‘anybody’ is used to choose many from a group of people.
  4. ‘Anyone’ is universally accepted and used in formal contexts. But ‘anybody’ is often used only in informal and personal conversations.
  5. ‘Has anyone seen my bag?’ is an example for how the word ‘anyone’ is used. But ‘Do you know anybody from the commerce stream?’ is an example for how the word ‘anybody’ is used.

Conclusion

Although both these words have the same prefixes and are often confused for each other due to the similar meanings they refer to, their differences are also quite a few.

While ‘anyone’ is a singular form, ‘anybody’ is a plural form. Their suffixes also point out this difference in number.

References

  1. https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/25558
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037821669090004W
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