Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Any time" versus "Anytime"

So what's the difference?  Lynn Gaertner-Johnston at the Business Writing blog provides an answer:

Do you wonder about the word anytime at any time? Anytime I stop to think about a word before I write it, wondering whether it is one word or two, it seems like a good topic to write about. If it takes me any time to think about it, I assume you may be thinking about it too.

That paragraph illustrates the use of anytime and any time.

Any amount of time = any time.

Do you have any time to review this piece?
We spent hardly any time in Dallas.
He doesn't have any time for us now that he has a girlfriend.

Whenever, at any time = anytime.

Call me anytime.
Anytime this happens, let me know.
I can meet anytime on Friday.

The correct choice after the preposition at is always the two-word form. Or leave out the preposition and use the one-word form. (Leaving out the at seems to be an American habit.)

I can meet with you at any time. (Compare: I can meet with you anytime.)
Did you talk with him at any time? (Compare: Did you talk with him anytime?)
I am free at any time between 1 and 4 p.m. (Compare: I am free anytime between 1 and 4 p.m.)

You can read the rest of Ms. Gaertner-Johnston's super-helpful blog right here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2009/10/any-time-versus-anytime.html

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Comments

Thank you for highlighting the subtle difference between anytime and any time.

Can you refer some literary passages from well known authors confirming the suggested usage?

Elaya Kumar S

Posted by: Elaya Kumar S | Oct 15, 2009 6:43:18 PM

Thanks. Your explanation couldn't have been simpler. I wish every Google search turned up an answer like this.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 7, 2011 10:41:55 PM

Hi, I'm a legal professional looking for a writing tutor. I live in Washington DC. Can you please recommend someone? Thank you.

Posted by: Christine | Jun 28, 2011 6:04:34 AM

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