Difference Between Anything and Nothing (With Table)

Learning new words develops our communication skills, we keep learning new words but during this we did not pay attention to small details of few words like ‘Anything’ and ‘Nothing’, both of the words are indefinite pronouns and have a lot of differences between them.

Anything vs Nothing 

The main difference between Anything and Nothing is that Anything means the presence of something, it can be tangible or non-tangible, on the other hand, Nothing means absence, it means there is not anything whether it is a place, object, feeling, etc. It can be tangible or non-tangible too.

‘Anything’ is an indefinite pronoun, that is used at the place of a noun. It can be an object that you can see or any work that you do, and any thought, idea, or fact. It is just the presence of these things. It can be used in any type of sentence but mostly used in negative sentences.

‘Nothing’ is also an indefinite pronoun, and is used at the place of a noun. It is a lack or absence of anything. It has a negative sense but it is mostly used in affirmative sentences. Any negative verb used with anything can be used at the place of ‘Nothing’ in a sentence.

Comparison Table Between Anything and Nothing

Parameters of ComparisonAnything Nothing
Definition It is the presence of any object, idea, fact, thought, etc.It is a lack or absence of anything.
Etymology It is made up of two words ‘Any’ + ‘Thing’.It is made up of two words ‘No’ + ‘Thing’
UseIt is used to show the presence of any object, material, thought, fact, etc.It is used to show absence or lack of anything.
Occurrence It mostly occurs in negative sentences.It mostly occurs in affirmative sentences.
ExampleWe can do anything with sheer determination.Nothing is impossible for him.

What is Anything?

‘Anything’ is a word made up of two different words ‘any’ and ‘thing’. It is an indefinite pronoun that is used at the place of a noun. It is used to show the presence of an object that you can see or touch, or an idea that you can not see or touch.

There are a lot of events occurring around us which we can see, we can see and touch objects around us, we can have an idea in our mind which is non-tangible, or there are a lot of facts that we are sure about, these things in singular form can be represented by the word ‘Anything’.

‘Anything’ can be used in any context, let’s understanding this with some examples:-

  1. ‘Anything’ is used as an object. For example, I can use anything as a weapon in need.
  2. ‘Anything’ can be used as an event. For example, I did not do anything on her daughter’s birthday.
  3. ‘Anything’ can be used as an idea or fact. For example, Do you know anything about mermaids?

Other than these examples, ‘Anything’ can be used in many ways in the sentence. We can practice and learn other uses by practicing and using it in daily communications.

What is Nothing?

‘Nothing’ is a word made up of two words ‘No’ and ‘thing’. It is also an indefinite pronoun that is used at the place of a noun. It is used to show the lack or absence of anything. A negative sentence having ‘Anything’ can be converted into an affirmative sentence by using ‘Nothing’ at the place of ‘Anything’.

‘Nothing’ is the concept of non-existence, it is used in many contexts, Buddhist believe that nothingness will take you to nirvana, on the other hand, atheist use nothing term to say non-existence of God. In mathematics 0 is used to denote nothing and in computing Null, nil, etc are used to express nothing.

It is also used in many context and conditions, let’s understand it with some examples:-

  1. ‘Nothing’ can be used at the place of an object or anything to show its non-existence. For example, I ate nothing for breakfast.
  2. ‘Nothing’ is used for the absence of idea, thought, or facts. For example, I know nothing about these machines.
  3. ‘Nothing’ is used for the absence of any event. For example, She was doing nothing in the office.

These are just a few examples of the uses of ‘Nothing’. It can also be used in different types of sentences in many ways that we can learn by practice.

Main Differences Between Anything and Nothing

  1. The main difference between ‘Anything’ and ‘Nothing’ is that Anything is the presence of an idea, event, thought, or fact but ‘Nothing’ is the lack or absence of anything.
  2. Both ‘Anything’ and ‘Nothing’ have ‘Thing’ words as common but prefixes of both words are different that makes them different.
  3. ‘Anything’ is mostly used in negative sentences on the other hand ‘Nothing’ is mostly used in affirmative sentences.
  4. ‘Anything’ is a term used to show the existence of an object, matter, fact, etc whereas the ‘Nothing’ word is used to show the non-existence of any idea, object, fact, etc.
  5. ‘Anything’ can be used at the place of ‘Nothing’ by using a negative term before ‘Anything’ but vice versa is not true.

Conclusion

Some words are different from each other and it can be seen clearly but still, the thing that makes them different is not known by many. We should try and understand these things, that improves our knowledge and also clear our all doubts related to that word.

‘Anything’ and ‘Nothing’ are two different words but sometimes they can be used interchangeably with some minor changes in the sentence without affecting the meaning of the sentence. ‘Anything’ is used to show the presence of a fact, idea, object, event, etc. on the other hand ‘Nothing’ is used to show the lack or absence of any idea, fact, event, or object.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=h2o8SBenKdIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR8&dq=uses+of+anything+in+a+sentence&ots=J_hJP5Lp5Y&sig=8WbBYuaPjLj6gbPclUquQjPCm7M
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Charles_Goodwin/publication/2549948_The_Interactive_Construction_of_a_Sentence_in_Natural_Conversation/links/0c96051857bbec01d5000000/The-Interactive-Construction-of-a-Sentence-in-Natural-Conversation.pdf
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