Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Any time and Anytime

Any time vs  Anytime

While there may not appear to be any differences between the words any time and anytime there are some differences which can clearly differentiate the two words from one another. Any time and anytime are defined in Webster’s dictionary as the same thing. They both mean at any point in time or whenever. While neither is incorrect or inappropriate in the English language it is said that the separation of the two words was influenced by Britain’s use of the word. The proper way to use any time is when there is the word ‘at’ preceding ‘any time’. The word ‘at’ is said to create a thorough separation between the two words, such as ‘you can come by at any time’, or ‘your car can be ready at any time’. Anytime is preferred in American English because it is the quicker use of the word, our fast-paced lives don’t need the extra half second to separate a word that means the same when it is all together.

Both any time and anytime can be found in the dictionary after the words anything and anyway. It is in the dictionary that the differences between the two words are made clear. Interestingly enough anytime was not used until the 18th century, as the English language was developing from the English spoken in the United Kingdom. Both forms of the word anytime are used as adverbs describing a certain time, which is a noun. For example when someone says come by anytime, anytime is another word for a number which represents a time, such as 6pm or 4pm. In grade school, children are taught to use anytime as the proper form of both words, however they are also instructed as to the meaning of the words any and time as separate entities. This helps a child who sees both versions to comprehend that it is not a misspelling, but rather a difference of opinions on how certain words which mean the same things should be spelled.

While any time is two words and one would logically conclude this to mean that it is not similar to anytime, this cannot be farther from the truth. There are few differences between any time and anytime, and therefore if used interchangeably it should be permitted in both British and American forms of English.

Summary

1. Anytime and any time share the same definition and are located in the same place in the dictionary. Both mean whenever.
2. Anytime is the Americanized version of the British any time. Any time is specifically used more when the adverb ‘at’ precedes the word.
3. Any time was the original word which was developed in the 18th century and then evolved into anytime over the years.
4. Children in the United States are typically taught the use of anytime, however they are also taught the words any and time as their own entities and that they mean the same things.


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