Have you ever wondered how the meaning of a word gets changed with a slight change in the spelling? Most of us are blissfully unaware of the difference and keep using the words arbitrarily.
Take ‘anytime’ and ‘any time’ for instance. The little space in between the two words ‘any’ and ‘time’ can result in a complete change of meaning even though they sound the same.
Anytime without a space between the two words basically means whenever. The word is used as an adverb to denote the time of an action. We use ‘anytime’ when we say-
- You can call me anytime.
- We allow admission any time of the year.
- The delivery should be here anytime.
Any time with space is used to mean any amount of time. The phrase can be adverbial too, but then you would be talking about any amount of time needed for an action, as in the sentences below.
- I don’t have any time to cook dinner.
- Do you have any time for the meeting?
- This should be done at any time from 6-8 hours.
What to do?
The use of space can get a little tricky, and we often end up making a mistake. Well, there are always grammar tools to fall back on. But if you want to play safe, ‘any time’ with space should be your default writing.
This usage is actually more formal and traditional. With space, ‘any time’ has a much wider usage and can save you the chance of making a mistake.
No matter how common the error of ‘anytime’ and ‘any time’ might be, you should not be the one making it!