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The Difference between Anyone and Every One

soup

Seth Mazow

In many cases anyone and everyone means the same. It means everybody in a group. You can replace them by anybody and everybody.

However, please note that there can be differences in some situations.

First of all, let’s have a look at a couple of examples in which anyone and everyone mean the same:

1 A Anyone is welcome to send in their ideas.

B Everyone is welcome to send in their ideas.

2 A Anyone can learn English.

B Everyone can learn English.

The meaning in 2 A and B is the same: all people in the world can learn English.

3 A Not anyone who is at least 175 cm of height can become a model.

B Not everyone who is at least 175 cm of height can become a model.

A and B mean that not all people, even if they are 175 cm tall, can be a model.

 

Now let’s look at a few sentences where A and B mean something different:

1 A If anyone has a question, please ask.

B If everyone has a question, we will start our explanation from the beginning.

The difference between A and B is that in A there can be one, two or more people who have questions. In B, every person in the room has questions.

2 A Can anyone sing “Michelle” by the Beatles?

B Can everyone sing “Michelle” by the Beatles?

In A, you’re asking for just one person to sing the song. In B, you’re asking everyone to be able to sing the song.

3 A Does anyone want more soup?

B Does everyone want more soup?

In A, you mean at least one person. In B, you’re asking whether the whole group of people wants soup.

4 A I didn’t see anyone at the party.

B I didn’t see everyone at the party.

A means there were no people at the party! In B, you didn’t speak to every single person that was at the party.

 

Quiz

You can do this quiz online here and check your answers immediately.

Choose between anyone and everyone, or you can decide that both mean the same.

1 More tea, ___________?

2 The party yesterday was full of strange people. I didn’t see ___________ I knew.

3 There is no age limit for watching this movie. ____________ can enter.

4 There is an age limit for watching this movie. Not _____________ is allowed to enter.

5 Which t-shirt do you like? – I’m sorry, I don’t like __________ of these.

6 ___________ can suffer from unrealistic expectations sometimes.

7 A recruiter, a job website, a friend or just about ____________ can help you find your dream job.

8 I can’t wear those pumps. Clearly, wearing high heels just isn’t for ____________.

9 Frida doesn’t want __________ whom she doesn’t know to have her phone number, so she screens it.

10 I don’t see how _____________ can stay awake during Ms Whittaker’s lectures.

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