Difference Wiki

Anybody vs. Nobody: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 8, 2023
"Anybody" refers to any person at all, while "nobody" means not a single person.

Key Differences

The term "anybody" is an indefinite pronoun that encompasses any person or an unspecified individual in a group. It is used to refer to a person without specifying who it is, offering a sense of inclusivity. Conversely, "nobody" is also an indefinite pronoun but conveys exclusion, indicating the absence of any person or not even a single individual.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
When "anybody" is used in a sentence, it invites the possibility that someone may be capable or available for an action or situation. It opens up the potential for participation or presence. "Nobody," however, shuts down this potential, clearly stating that there is no person available, capable, or present.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
In questions, "anybody" seeks to find at least one person who might meet the criteria being asked about. For example, asking "Is there anybody who can help?" implies the speaker is looking for any available person. "Nobody" is often used in statements to declare that there is no person who meets the criteria, as in "There was nobody who could help."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
"Anybody" can often be found in positive contexts where the speaker expresses hope or the expectation of finding someone. It is also used in contexts where the barrier to entry is low. On the other hand, "nobody" is frequently used in negative contexts to highlight loneliness, exclusion, or a lack of volunteers or participants.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023
"Anybody" can be used to indicate that any person out of a vast or undefined set is capable or selected, which offers a universal aspect. "Nobody," in contrast, is definitive in stating that within the entire set of possible individuals, not one is selected or capable, imparting a sense of absoluteness to the statement.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Grammatical Function

Indefinite pronoun for any person
Indefinite pronoun for no person
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Implication

Inclusion of any individual
Exclusion of all individuals
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Use in Sentences

Can be affirmative or interrogative
Primarily negative
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Expectation

Indicates possibility
Indicates impossibility
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

Context

Often used where any response is acceptable
Used where there are no responses
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
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Anybody and Nobody Definitions

Anybody

Any person or individual, no matter who.
Anybody could see that the solution was incorrect.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 08, 2023

Nobody

Used to indicate the absence of any person.
There was nobody at the meeting.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023

Anybody

Any person at random; no matter who.
The prize could go to anybody.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023

Nobody

Not a single person; no one.
Nobody was home when I arrived.
Sara Rehman
Nov 08, 2023

Anybody

An unspecified person in a given context.
If anybody calls, tell them I'm not available.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Nobody

No person whatsoever; zero people.
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

Anybody

Whoever it may concern or involve.
Anybody is better than no one at a job like this.
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

Nobody

Not any person; used to deny or negate.
Nobody could solve the puzzle.
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

Anybody

Used to refer to a person, when it does not matter who.
Can anybody answer this question?
Janet White
Nov 08, 2023

Nobody

Insignificant or unimportant person.
He's a nobody in the vast field of applicants.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 08, 2023

Anybody

A person of consequence
Everybody who is anybody was at the reception. See Usage Notes at anyone, every, he1.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

A person of no importance or influence.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

Not any person; the logical negation of somebody.
I asked several people, but nobody knew how.
As nobody who is not blind can have failed to notice, I had my hair cut just yesterday.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

Someone who is not important or well-known.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

No person; no one; not anybody.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

A person of no influence or importance; an insignificant or contemptible person.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

Nobody

A person of no influence
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2022

FAQs

Is "nobody" singular or plural?

"Nobody" is also treated as singular.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is "nobody" used in questions?

"Nobody" is generally not used in questions.
Janet White
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" be used in positive sentences?

Yes, "anybody" can be used in positive contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" and "nobody" be used interchangeably?

No, they cannot; "anybody" is inclusive, while "nobody" is exclusive.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does "nobody" imply the existence of a person?

No, it implies that there is not a single person.
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" be used to ask for volunteers?

Yes, it's often used to ask if there's someone willing to volunteer.
Janet White
Nov 08, 2023

Can "nobody" be a placeholder for an unknown person?

No, it indicates the absence of a person, not an unknown person.
Janet White
Nov 08, 2023

Can "nobody" be used to express solitude?

Yes, it can emphasize the state of being alone.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" be used to address a group?

Yes, when the individual identity within the group doesn’t matter.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023

Does "anybody" have a plural form?

No, it is an indefinite pronoun without a plural form.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" refer to people in general?

Yes, it can refer to any person or people in general.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Is "anybody" singular or plural?

"Anybody" is treated as singular.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 08, 2023

Is "nobody" a negative term?

Yes, it negates the presence of any person.
Harlon Moss
Nov 08, 2023

What does "anybody" mean in legal documents?

It refers to any person who is subject to the document's terms.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does "nobody" have a plural form?

No, it does not have a plural form.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" be used in formal writing?

Yes, it is acceptable in both formal and informal contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can "anybody" and "nobody" be subjects in a sentence?

Yes, both can act as the subject of a verb.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How does "nobody" impact verb conjugation?

The verb following "nobody" is also conjugated in the singular.
Sara Rehman
Nov 08, 2023

Is "nobody" less formal than "no one"?

They are generally considered interchangeable, with no significant formality difference.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

How does "anybody" impact the verb conjugation in a sentence?

The verb is conjugated in the singular form.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 08, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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