Difference Wiki

Anything vs. Everything: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 10, 2024
"Anything" refers to any one item or possibility, regardless of specifics, while "everything" encompasses all items or possibilities collectively.

Key Differences

Anything is a word used to refer to any single item, matter, or possibility, without specifying what it is. It implies an open choice among a range of things. Everything, in contrast, refers to all things collectively, without leaving out any item. It encompasses the total of what is being discussed or considered.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024
In usage, anything is often found in contexts that emphasize an unlimited range of possibilities or lack of restriction. For example, "You can choose anything from the menu." This suggests a wide array of individual choices. On the other hand, everything implies completeness or totality, as in "Everything on the menu is delicious," which suggests that all items collectively are being referred to.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024
Anything can denote something of any kind or any part of a whole, without focusing on its entirety. It is more individualistic and singular in its reference. In contrast, everything suggests a holistic view, focusing on the entire group, collection, or universe of items. It's more comprehensive and all-encompassing.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024
Anything is often used in questions and negative statements to indicate a lack of limitation, such as in "Is there anything I can do to help?" Here, it implies any single action or task. Everything, conversely, is used to indicate the full scope or entirety of things, as in "I've told you everything I know," which means all the information without exception.
Harlon Moss
Jan 10, 2024
The scope of anything is generally more limited and focused on individual entities or choices, while everything has a broader, all-inclusive scope. This distinction is important in both spoken and written English, as it helps to clarify whether the speaker is referring to a single element or the whole.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Any one of a number of things
All things collectively
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Contextual Use

Singular, individual choices
Totality, all-encompassing scope
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Example in Question

"Can you do anything to help?"
"Did you do everything you could?"
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Example in Negative

"There isn't anything I can do."
"There isn't everything here we need."
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Implication

Possibility among many
Complete set without exception
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024
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Focus

Open choice, unspecified
Completeness, total inclusion
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Scope

Individualistic, any part of a whole
Holistic, the entire group or collection
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Usage in Language

Often in queries and negations
Indicates full scope or entirety
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Connotation

Lack of restriction, openness
Comprehensiveness, totality
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Grammatical Role

Singular reference
Plural reference
Harlon Moss
Jan 10, 2024

Anything and Everything Definitions

Anything

Any unspecified item or possibility.
You can ask me anything about the project.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Everything

All that is relevant or important.
This book covers everything about the topic.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Anything

Used to refer to a thing, no matter what.
I would do anything to make this work.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Everything

The whole amount or extent.
We lost everything in the fire.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Anything

Used in negations to mean nothing.
I don't know anything about that subject.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Everything

All things; the total of all available.
Everything in this store is on sale.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Anything

Used in offering or requesting something not specific.
Is there anything I can help you with?
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Everything

Referring to the whole situation.
After the discussion, everything was clearer.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Anything

Any single thing of any kind.
I didn't find anything useful in the book.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Everything

All-inclusive term for all matters.
Everything went according to plan.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Anything

To any degree or extent; at all
They aren't anything like last year's team.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

(literally) All the things under discussion.
I checked the list again and everything is done.
Thank you for everything you've done for us.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Anything

Something or someone of importance
"You had to be something to start with, and Jeremy never was anything" (Anne Tyler).
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

Many or most things.
I did everything today - washed the dishes, cut the lawn, did the laundry.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

(colloquial) A state of well-being (from all parts of the whole).
She wasn't feeling well this morning but now everything is fine.
Since the company lost its best customer everything has gotten worse.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

(colloquial) Considerable effort.
It took everything in me to resist the temptation to skip work on my birthday.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

(colloquial) The most important thing.
I can't believe I made it in time - timing is everything!
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Everything

Whatever pertains to the subject under consideration; all things.
More wise, more learned, more just, more everything.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

FAQs

How is anything used in a sentence?

Anything is often used in questions or offers, like "Can I get you anything?"
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

What does anything mean?

Anything refers to any one of a number of items or possibilities.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Does everything include people?

It can, depending on context, but usually refers to things or situations.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Can anything be used to refer to people?

Generally, anything refers to things or situations, not people.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

What does everything mean?

Everything means all things collectively or the whole amount.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Can everything be used in questions?

Yes, like "Did you check everything?"
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Is anything always singular?

Yes, anything is treated as singular in grammar.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Can anything be used in positive statements?

Yes, but it's more common in questions and negatives.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Is everything always plural?

Everything is treated as singular in grammar but refers to plural entities.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Can anything mean 'no matter what'?

Yes, as in "I'll do anything to succeed."
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Is everything all-inclusive?

Yes, it includes all items or aspects being discussed.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Is everything used in informal contexts?

Yes, it's common in both formal and informal contexts.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

How do context and tone affect the use of anything and everything?

Context and tone can greatly change their meanings and implications.
Janet White
Jan 10, 2024

Can anything be replaced with something in sentences?

Sometimes, but it changes the meaning to a more specific reference.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

Are there any idiomatic uses of anything and everything?

Yes, like "anything goes" or "everything under the sun."
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Is everything used in negative statements?

It's less common but can be used, like "Not everything is as it seems."
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Does anything have a limit?

No, it implies a range of possibilities without limitation.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Can anything be used to express willingness?

Yes, like "I'm ready to do anything required."
Aimie Carlson
Jan 10, 2024

Does everything imply completeness?

Yes, it implies that nothing is left out.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024

How does everything differ in implication from anything?

Everything implies the totality of things, while anything is about open possibilities.
Sara Rehman
Jan 10, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
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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