Main Difference – Anyone vs. Anybody
Anyone and Anybody are two indefinite pronouns that refer to a single individual within an unlimited set of people. These two pronouns are often used interchangeably though there exists a slight difference between them. The main difference between anyone and anybody is that Anyone is slightly more formal than Anybody and is more used in the written language. Let us examine the meaning and usage of these two words by further analyzing these two words.
Anyone – Meaning and Usage
Anyone is an indefinite pronoun in the singular form that refers to a single individual within an unlimited set of people. This pronoun is more often used in negative and interrogative forms, but it does not have a negative meaning on its own. It is important to remember that the verb that follows this pronoun should always remain single. The sentences below will further explain the use of this indefinite pronoun.
Does this bag belong to anyone?
I heard a noise, but when I went inside the house, there wasn’t anyone.
Did anyone note the license plate of that car?
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Keep in mind, however that anyone(one word) and any one(two words) have two different meanings and cannot be used interchangeably.
Anybody – Meaning and Usage
Anybody is also a singular indefinite pronoun. It is often used as a synonym for anyone. In fact, the Oxford Dictionary describes anybody in a single word: anyone. Therefore, it is clear that both these two pronouns are interchangeable. However, there is a slight difference between the two words when it comes to usage. Anybody is less formal than anyone and, therefore, used less in written language. The Oxford dictionary of American Usage and Style states that “The two terms are interchangeable, so euphony governs the choice in any given context. In practice, anyone appears in print about three times as often as anybody.”
The following examples will explain how anybody is used in sentences. Note that anybody is also often used in questions and negatives.
I called out aloud few times, but there wasn’t anybody around.
There are not that good; anybody can beat them.
I didn’t know anybody there, so I came home.
Did anybody blame you?
Difference Between Anyone and Anybody
Anyone refers to a single individual within an unlimited set of people.
Anybody also refers to a single individual within an unlimited set of people.
Therefore, there is no difference between anyone and anybody based on their meaning, and they can be used interchangeably.
Anyone is considered more formal than anybody and is used more in writing.
Anybody is considered less formal than anyone.
Anyone is derived from combining any and one.
Anybody is derived from combining any and body.
The one-word form of Anyone is seen from 1844.
The one-word form of Anybody is attested by 1826.
Garner, B.(2000). anyone. In The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style. : Oxford University Press. [Retrieved 14 Oct. 2015]