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Any one, every one, can not

Should we be sweet enough and let them stay together or be cruel and separate them? Do they mean the same thing? Are they interchangeable? Does it even make a difference how we write them? Are these some of the questions that haunt you when faced with certain English words?

Take the case of ‘anyone’ and ‘everyone,’ or wait a minute, is it ‘any one’ and ‘every one?’ Well, it can be both. ‘Anyone’ is a pronoun and means ‘any person or people’ (e.g.: anyone can earn money), whereas ‘any one’ means ‘any single person or thing’ (e.g.: employees are allowed up to 20 holidays in any one year).

Let us look now look at ‘everyone’ that has a similar logic as ‘anyone.’ ‘Everyone’ is a pronoun and means ‘every person’ (e.g.: everyone had a great time), whereas ‘every one’ means ‘each one’ (e.g.: he visited every one of his friends whenever he visited India).

While on the topic, I cannot help up mention how the word ‘cannot’ cannot be written as ‘can not.’ Although it might look obvious, I have seen it far to often to not bring it up. Hope things are now clear to everyone 🙂

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.