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Any time vs. anytime is a common confusion, especially among English learners. Whether you should leave a space between “any” and “time” when writing is a decision you have to make quickly, so understanding their differences will help you choose the correct one every time.

Although using one over the other probably won’t create a misunderstanding between you and the person you’re writing to, it’s still a mistake that will make your writing grammatically incorrect.

Any time vs. Anytime

If you want to avoid making a grammatical mistake when writing anytime or any time, it’s good to know the differences between the two terms and their usage so you can be sure that you’re always using the right word.

Any time: Meaning, usage, examples

Any time is not a single word but a noun phrase that functions as an adverb in the sentence. It means “any amount of time” or “at no particular time,” suggesting that something will happen soon without indicating how soon.

The guests should arrive at any time.

It’s most commonly used with the preposition “at,” forming the prepositional phrase “at any time,” as shown in the example above. When used with a preposition, the phrase can be followed by additional information specifying the time.

You can come at any time of day.

“Any time” can also be used without preposition when referring to the amount of time, as in the following example:

Do you have any time to come to my office today?

The two-word version is also used as an alternative to “you’re welcome.”

Thanks for your help. Any time!

Anytime: Meaning, usage, examples

Anytime is a single word functioning as an adverb in the sentence. It can mean “at any time,” “without a doubt,” or “whenever” when you don’t want or can’t specify the time.

The team said they could beat the other team anytime.
She won’t arrive anytime soon.

Unlike any time, the single-word version can’t be used with the preposition “at,” but it can be used as an adjective.

Brownies are an anytime dessert.

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Tips for choosing the right word

Here are a few ways to pick the right term to help you understand the difference between them and use the correct one.

  • Pick “any time” when you need to use it with the preposition at;
  • Pick “any time” when you refer to an amount of time;
  • Pick “anytime” when you can replace it with any other adverb, such as quickly;
  • Pick “anytime” when you need to use it as an adjective;
  • Pick either term when you need to use it as an adverb;
  • Pick “any time” whenever you’re in doubt.

With these tips in mind, you can always know which word to use and even make it easier for anyone wondering, “is any time one word?”

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