Grammar Nerd: Any way that I can help?
By: Sydnee Bagovich
Anyway, any way, sometime, some time, everyone, every one… These are just a few examples that can cause writers and readers confusion. Do you have trouble deciding when to use which form? Or, do you always use the single word, not realizing that there is a two-word option? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, this article is for you!
Let’s look at the single-word versions first and their definitions:
Anyway is an adverb, meaning anyhow, regardless, in any case.
Sometime is an adverb, meaning at an indefinite future time.
Everyone is a pronoun, meaning everybody, all.
Any, some, every – These are all adjectives. They describe nouns. So, when the words way, time and one appear after them, the structure, and therefore the meaning, changes. Compare the single-word meanings above with the following:
Any way: Is there any (insert: possible) way that you could get that report to me? Do you know of any way that we can get this done?
Some time: It will take some time for me to finish this project. I need some time to think about this. Each instance is referencing a degree of time. You could substitute one of the following for the word some in these instances: a lot of, not much…
Every one: You must tell every (each) one of the patients about this project. You might be telling everyone, but this sentence speaks to each one of a certain group. Please be sure to indicate every one of the possible side effects of that medicine.
Other examples include anytime and any time, anyone and any one, everybody and every body.
Just a side note—Anyways is described in the dictionary as archaic or dialect. Might want to stay away from that one altogether!
As with all of my topics, I hope that you find this helpful. Send me an email at email@example.com, if I can clarify further or if you have a grammar question for me.
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