‘Anytime' or 'Any time': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 3, 2023

Wondering whether to spell it ‘anytime’ or ‘any time’? And what is the difference between these two words? We can answer that in this article, plus teach you how to use both in a sentence.

In short, the difference between the two is:

  • ‘Anytime’ means whenever or at any time, and it’s used as an adverb.
  • ‘Any time’ can be used as a noun phrase or an adverbial phrase. The definition is no particular time or any amount of time.

These phrases cannot be used interchangeably, as the meaning changes slightly when ‘any time’ is used as a noun phrase.

‘Anytime’ vs. ‘Any Time’ – What’s the Difference?

‘Anytime’ is an adverb that means ‘whenever’ or ‘at any time.’

‘Any time’ is typically a noun phrase, and it means ‘at no particular time’ or ‘any amount of time.’ It indicates that something might happen soon, but no one knows the exact time.

These words sound the same but have slightly different meanings, which means they could be considered homophones.

‘Any Time’ or ‘Anytime’ – Is It One or Two Words? 

Technically, it’s both one word and two words.

However, it all depends on how you use them.

For example, use one word when you mean ‘without a doubt’ or ‘whenever.’

Definition and Meaning of ‘Anytime’ and ‘Any Time’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘anytime’ is at any time, whatever.

A Brief History

The first known use of the word was in 1822.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Anytime’ and ‘Any Time’

Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce both words correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling: EN-EE -TYM

How to Use ‘Anytime’ and ‘Any Time’ in a Sentence

Now that you know what the words mean and how to pronounce them, let’s take a look at some examples of how to use them in a sentence. We’ll start with ‘anytime.’

  • We can head out anytime you’re ready. I’m on your time.
  • Come over for guitar lessons anytime. I’m free most afternoons.
  • Anyway, feel free to come by my office anytime you need to.
  • We can play video games anytime. How often do we get a chance to hang out with two pretty girls?

Now, we’ll look at examples of ‘any time.’

  • We said we’d go to the mall, but we didn’t state any time.
  • I didn’t have any time to do my homework last night. I hope Ms. Knight isn’t mad.
  • That volcano could blow at any time. Why are we so close to it?
  • We didn’t have any time to get breakfast en route to school.

Final Thoughts on ‘Anytime’ and ‘Any Time’

To recap, we learned that the difference between the two is:

  • ‘Anytime’ is defined as whenever or at any time, and it’s an adverb.
  • ‘Any time’ can be used as a noun phrase or an adverbial phrase. It means no particular time or any amount of time.

You can’t use these interchangeably because the meaning changes slightly between the words. 

If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back to refresh your memory. We’ve got a whole library of content dedicated to explaining confusing words in the English language. Go check it out anytime.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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