Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Anything and Everything

Anything vs Everything

Have you ever encountered words that seem similar yet have different meanings and functions? When constructing a sentence or a phrase, haven’t you ever been confused as to which of these words to use?

Well, I have, and in my current job as a writer, I need to be able to distinguish the differences in words. It is very important for me to use each word in its right context, or I will never be able to become a good writer.

There are words that sound the same and may even mean the same but differ in how they can be used in a phrase or sentence. There are also some words that can refer to a lot of different things and which can have different uses.

Take the case of the words ‘anything’ and ‘everything,’ for example. They are both pronouns that are used to refer to something. They closely resemble each other in spelling and sound yet they are two different words that have different meanings and uses.

‘Everything’ refers to all things that exist. All objects, seen or unseen, are part of everything. Even ‘nothing’ is part of everything. It’s a little confusing, right? Well, then let me put it this way. When you convey a message through conversation or writing, you use ‘everything’ to refer to all things that are important about the subject. There is no limit to ‘everything.’ Even those that are only speculations like other universes and worlds other than the one we are living in would be parts of everything should they exist.

‘Anything, on the other hand, is used to refer to any of the things that are about the subject. It refers to any part of a whole thing, whole entity, or an entire idea. It can either be one, all, or some of the quantity or extent of a thing. They refer to different things, and in phrases and sentences they are used in a different context.

‘Everything’ and ‘anything,’ therefore, can never be interchanged. Here is an illustration of how ‘everything’ and ‘anything’ should be used in a sentence:

Correct usage: I don’t need anything because I already have
everything.
Wrong usage: I don’t need everything because I already have
anything.

The first sentence is the correct one and it sounds good while the second sentence is out of context.

Summary:

1. ‘Everything’ is used to refer to all things that exist including all that have physical bodies and those that are abstract objects while ‘anything’ is used to refer to any of the things about an object, an entity, or an idea.
2. ‘Everything’ is used to refer to all the things about the whole thing, entity, or idea while ‘anything’ is used to refer to a part of a whole or the extent of a thing.
3. ‘Everything’ is used when you are referring to all things while ‘anything’ is used when you are referring to just any of the things that you are talking about.


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2 Comments

  1. i think this post was written by a Russian that didn’t want to give a nod to the original writer of this explanation. Besides the many errors you can find here, i happen to remember writing it where there happens to also be a large number of Russians amid homosexual supremacists living out their heroin dependent lives together. Fetlife (:

    to further my point
    [quote]
    Correct usage: I don’t need anything because I already have
    everything.
    Wrong usage: I don’t need everything because I already have
    anything.
    The first sentence is the correct one and it sounds good while the second sentence is out of context.
    [/quote]

    the writer is right that the two are not interchangeable but they are wrong about the second sentence being wrong. these two sentences are right but they’re not interchangeable because, as it turns out, they mean two different things.

    the first might be used by a very rich person or someone who believes they own everything.

    the second sentence would be written by someone who was supposedly perfectly happy because he could have anything he wanted; he doesn’t need to already have absolutely everything.

    the first would be written by an unsatisfied and unhappy person. the second would be written by a satisfied and happy person.

  2. my conclusions about the two writer’s happiness comes from the physical fact that it’s not possible that someone already owns everything, and, even if they did it wouldn’t make them happy. they’d need the one thing they couldn’t actually own, someone else’s happiness. back to fetlife? lol.

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