Grammar 6 min read

What's the Difference Between Any Time and Anytime?

Main Any Time vs. Anytime Takeaways:

  • Anytime and any time are not always interchangeable
  • When in doubt, use the two word version. It’s more formal.
  • Anytime can be an adverb or conjunction.
  • Test if anytime is an adverb by replacing it with an -ly word like quickly or easily.
  • Test if anytime is a conjunction by replacing it with whenever.
  • Any time is a noun phrase that refers to an amount of time.
  • Use any time after a preposition like at.
His boss might walk in at anytime and catch him playing on Facebook.
His boss might walk in at any time and catch him playing on Facebook.
Anytime you call, I’ll be there.
He said he could come by anytime.
Different styles of cartoon clocks in varying colors against a dark blue background are on the left. On the right is the text: Anytime vs. any time
Any time is a noun phrase that describes an amount of time. Anytime can be an adverb. Or, it can also be conjunction that means whenever.

Is Any Time one Word or two?

In the past, any time with two words was the standard. Now, anytime (one word) can be an adverb that means that something can happen whenever, no matter the location or date. The one word version can also be conjunction you can use in place of whenever. Any time (two words) is a noun phrase that refers to a specific amount of time. The two word version usually comes after a preposition, like in the phrase “at any time”.

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You might also see people write any-time with a hyphen. However, hyphens are never necessary for words like anytime or sometime.

Since any time is nearly always acceptable, jot down the two-word version if you can’t remember which one is correct. Sure, it’s a bit old-fashioned and formal, but it works in most sentences.

What is the Difference Between Any Time and Anytime?

Other than the space, there are several differences between any time and anytime. First, anytime is an adverb or conjunction. On the other hand, any time with two separate words is a noun phrase that refers to an amount of time. What’s more, any time comes after prepositions like at, as in the phrase “at any time.” Finally, any time is generally considered more formal than anytime. Consider using any time when writing a professional letter or email.

It’s usually grammatically correct to use anytime or any time unless the term follows a preposition.

You can order breakfast from McBurger Shack anytime, day or night.
Schedule your exam online anytime you want.
You can request a proctored final exam at any time, but many students wait until they’ve passed the pretest.
Any time definition: (noun phrase) any amount of time; at no particular time

When deciding between anytime vs. any time, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does this word follow a preposition?
  2. Am I discussing an amount of time?
  3. Am I writing for a formal audience?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, use any time with two words instead of anytime.

You can get breakfast from McBurger Shack at any time.
A cartoon character with a blue t-shirt and jeans holds two signs. In his left hand, he holds a sign that says ANYTIME as one word. In his right hand, he holds a sign that says ANY TIME with two words. He looks confused. The text above his head says
Historically, any time with two words was the correct and only way to spell this word. When you’re not sure which one to use, err on the side of caution and use the more formal two word spelling.

How do you use Anytime in a Sentence?

Examples of Anytime in a Sentence:

I can make this recipe anytime, even without my cookbook. (Adverb)
Anytime you need me, just shoot me a text. (Conjunction)
Her cat is ready for neck rubs at any time. (Noun Phrase)
“I’m free for another date anytime at all,” said Savanna excitedly.
Anytime soon, I guess,” responded Albert when asked how quickly he needed the expense reports.

Common Phrases With Any Time vs. Anytime:

  • At any time
  • Anytime at all
  • Anytime soon

All in all, the way you use anytime in a sentence depends on whether you’re using an adverb, conjunction, or noun phrase.

For example, anytime is an adverb or conjunction. However, when you spell any time with two separate words, it’s a noun phrase.

1. How to use Anytime as an Adverb

If anytime is an adverb, then why doesn’t it end in -ly?

Yes, part of the reason that any time vs. anytime is so confusing is that adverbs often end in -ly. Even though it doesn’t, anytime can still function as an adverb.

Anytime definition: (adverb) whenever; at any time

Here’s an easy trick to test if anytime is acting as an adverb: Replace it with an -ly word like easily or quickly.

Don’t worry, I can come pick you up anytime.
Don’t worry, I can come pick you up easily.
A boy explaining the difference between anytime vs. any time.
“Anytime” is an adverb or conjunction. On the other hand, “any time” is a noun phrase.

2. How to use Anytime as a Conjunction

Anytime often appears at the beginning of a sentence when it’s used as a conjunction.

(Conjunction) Anytime the sun sets early, we chase fireflies before bed.

Another way to test if anytime is acting as a conjunction is to replace the word with whenever. If the sentence still makes sense, you know that anytime as one word is correct.

Anytime vs. Any Time When Referencing Periods of Time

Choose the two-word noun phrase any time when mentioning a period of time.

Do you have any time to complete these forms today?
Do you have anytime to finish this project today?

You might respond to the questions above with the one-word adverb. “Sure, I can help anytime today” is grammatically correct. That’s because you’re saying you can help whenever your boss needs you.

Pro Tip: Use the two-word version when your sentence includes a preposition, like at. Use the one-word version of anytime if you’re skipping the preposition.

What is Anytime Soon?

Anytime soon refers to an event that will take place in the near future. It’s a bit confusing since anytime means whenever, and soon means after a short time. For clarity purposes, you may find it easier to just use one of these words.

Anytime soon,” the meteorologist replied when asked when rain was coming.
I hope my landlord doesn’t stop by anytime soon since my kitchen is a mess.
Keely didn’t want to see her boyfriend anytime soon after the big fight they had.

What is the Difference Between Anytime and Everytime?

Anytime means whenever, while everytime means nearly always. However, everytime is not the preferred spelling, so use every time.

She wins trivia every time we play.
She orders fried pickles everytime we visit our favorite restaurant.

You can often use each time in place of every time.

After reading this guide, we hope you use anytime correctly every time.

Is it Anytime or Any Time? Let’s See What You’ve Learned

Anytime Question #1

What part of speech is “anytime”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. “Anytime” is an adverb that means something can happen at any time, regardless of the location or date. It can also function as conjunction.

Any Time Question #2

Which statement is true?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. Although “any time” is a noun phrase, it can also function as an adverb.

Any Time or Anytime Question #3

When is it acceptable to use any time in a sentence?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is D. “Any time” works in most sentences.

Anytime vs. Any Time Question #4

Complete this sentence. You can use the code ______ during a game.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. The one-word version, “anytime,” is acceptable when you're not using a preposition.

Any Time vs. Anytime Question #5

Complete this sentence. Hanna didn't have ____ to sleep. She had to work all night.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. Choose the two-word noun phrase, “any time,” when referring to a period of time.

Read More: Among vs. Amongst: Their Differences and Proper Usage

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Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

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