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The problem of this ‘one’ can be quite a problem actually!

When to use which form can perplex a lot of people. So in order to reduce your confusion, we bring this simple post to you: anyone vs. any one.

This set of words actually consists of two different grammatical forms. One is a closed compound form that is a pronoun and the other an open form which is an adjective followed by a pronoun with a different meaning.

Did you get that?

If not, don’t worry. We simplify it further.

Anyone is a pronoun emphasizing the one.

For example:
1. Has anyone seen Ram?
2. Anyone who would like to go on the trip to Shimla is most welcome to join us.

Here, anyone is simply pointing out to each individual and there is no limit on the number of people who can come to Shimla.

This “anyone” is interchangeable with “anybody”.

Let us have a look at the other “any one” now:
1. Any one of these men can accompany you to Shimla.
Here, any one means that only one individual will accompany you or will be chosen.

Another set of examples:

  • You can ask anyone that I was here only when you went for shopping.
  • The competition rules allow you to ask any one person for help.

In the first sentence, we are referring to any person, and in the second sentence, we refer to only one person (who can be anybody).

Points to be kept in mind:
A special case is that the preposition of can only be used after any one because the phrase introduced by of will modify one by itself, not the entire concept. Here is an example:
You may select any one of the watched to buy as your gift.

On the other hand, only anyone can be used in informal constructions to begin an interrogative, as in this example: Anyone home?

The alternative-  any one home – would mean “any individual house,” as in:
The housing society set up with the stipulation that any one flat may be sublet at a particular time, but no more than one.

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The Final Analysis:
Just keep these simple points in mind:

  • Any one emphasis the individual, the singular nature of whatever is being done or discussed, the adjective phrase that refers to specific but unidentified things or individuals.
  • Anyone refers to anybody or any person, no one in specific.


(a) Does ______ know who first said, “This too shall pass”?
(b) If ______ of the 100 endangered Sariska tigers should die, the tiger conservation program would come under immense scrutiny.

a. anyone
b. any one


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