Anytime vs. Any Time
Sometimes, a space in the English language can say a lot! For example, the words anytime and any time could mean very different things. Let's take a closer look at these words, their meanings, and how they should be used in context.
Anytime is an adverb meaning "at any time." It answers the question "when" in the sentence. It can also be used as a subordinating conjunction in an adverb clause to mean "whenever."
1. You can call me anytime. (Tells when you can call.)
2. Anytime you need a friend, I will be there. (Tells when I will be there--When you need a friend-subordinate clause)
3. I think we can ask questions anytime we need to do so. (Tells when you can ask.)
4. Because we have a swimming pool, I can go swimming anytime I want. (Tells when I can go swimming--When I want-subordinate clause)
Anytime is accepted and has been in use since the early 20th century. However, originally this was two words: any time.
Any Time is a phrase. Time is a noun; Any is an adverb. Any of the example sentences above could be written with any time, and they are correct:
1. You can call me any time.
2. Any time you need a friend, I will be there.
3. I think we can ask questions any time we need to do so.
4. Because we have a swimming pool, I can go swimming any time I want.
It is important to note that if you put "at" in front of any time, you must write it as two words. This is because "at" is a preposition, and you need "time" to function as a noun so that the preposition has an object.
1. The principal could arrive at any time.
2. Please call me at any time if you have questions.
In addition, you must write two separate words when you are actually referring to an amount of time:
1. Jamie didn't have any time left to finish her homework.
2. Could you spare any time to help me wash the dog?
When it doubt, remember that at any time, writing the word as any time is always correct!
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