Every/Any

Introduction

We use any and every to talk generally about items in a group. The two words have slightly different meanings. Here we take a look at the difference between any and every in English.

Any

  • any = whichever item/items or person/people you choose from a group
Example:
We were allowed to choose any sweet we wanted.

this sweet or that sweet or the other sweet

  • any refers to one individual item/person or multiple individual items/people, we can form compounds with any
Example:
anybody/anyone = whichever person
anything = whichever individual item or items
anywhere = whichever place
any time = whichever time
  • any in negative sentences refers to none at all
Example:
She doesn’t eat any fruit.

not apples, not oranges, nothing at all

She doesn’t know any people in her building.

not this person, not that person, no people at all

Every

  • every = all the items/people in a group
Example:
Sebastian wanted to buy every sweet in the shop.

this sweet and that sweet and the other sweet

  • every refers to all things/people collectively, we can form compounds with every
Example:
everybody/everyone = all people
everything = all things
everywhere = all places
every time = all times
  • every in negative sentences refers to not all, but some
Example:
She doesn’t eat every fruit.

she eats some fruits, but not all

She doesn’t know every person in her building.

she knows some people, but not all