Anymore or any more?: Anymore = nowadays, these days?

  • Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    There's a difference. It's hard to think of examples off the top of my head, but we'll try these:

    "I don't like Laura any more than I like Angela"

    "I don't like Laura anymore"

    Anymore = no longer
    Any more = comparison. So:

    "I don't like Laura more than Angela; not even a little bit"

    "I don't like Laura any longer"

    I hope I didn't confuse. Surely others can describe this to you better, but if not I hope I made at least a little sense :)
     

    alebron

    New Member
    Español/España
    Moogey, thanks.

    Some quotes:

    From Merriam-Webster dictionary:

    Although both anymore and any more are found in written use, in the 20th century anymore is the more common styling.
    From Collins Dictionary:

    In British English, the spelling anymore is sometimes considered incorrect, and any more is used instead.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "anymore (any longer). This adverb may be written as one word or two, although the solid form is the more common. There is also a phrase, any more, as in "I don't have any more time this week."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In this side of the water (in BE) many of us would prefer not to use the one-word version, anymore.
    Despite the resistance of some, it is creeping in for the specific meaning that Moogey identified.

    I see, that in parts of the US anymore can also mean "nowadays" - as in:
    "We all use night-crawlers anymore."
    I guess that sentence (quoted from the Dictionary of American Regional English) means something over there - it means nothing at all to me:)

    So, in BE you could safely use "any more" as two words in all contexts. If you use anymore to mean no longer, that would be accepted. But if you are writing to me, please use the two word version:)
     

    la grive solitaire

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Here's an explanation from an article at http://alt-usage-english.org/anymore.html : "The difference between the two meanings is illustrated in the sentence: 'I don't buy books anymore because I don't need any more books.' "

    panjandrum said:
    I see, that in parts of the US anymore can also mean "nowadays" - as in:
    "We all use night-crawlers anymore."
    I guess that sentence (quoted from the Dictionary of American Regional English) means something over there - it means nothing at all to me:)
    :)
    The article also cites this meaning as a regional usage, but it was entirely new to me, too.
     

    Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    panjandrum said:
    I see, that in parts of the US anymore can also mean "nowadays" - as in:
    "We all use night-crawlers anymore."
    I guess that sentence (quoted from the Dictionary of American Regional English) means something over there - it means nothing at all to me:)
    That's certainly regional (American Regional English) cause I've never heard it. Quite interesting!

    -M
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    panjandrum said:
    I see, that in parts of the US anymore can also mean "nowadays" - as in:
    "We all use night-crawlers anymore."
    I guess that sentence (quoted from the Dictionary of American Regional English)
    I'll raise my hand here and claim it an expression among those who speak "Southern Backwoods-ese." While it is grammatically correct according to ASE prescripts, it may be used more commonly in the South, and is certainly is used and understood broadly among summa thayem bass-fishin' tahpes.

    Edit: Another thought. Alternatively, on the "flip side" of the SB expression, the double-negative would be appropriately used:

    "We don't use night-crawlers no more."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    OED lists a range of examples for the "now or nowadays" definition of any more. The first and last of these are:
    1898 Eng. Dial. Dict. I. 63/1 [:eek: Northern Ireland:eek: ] A servant being instructed how to act, will answer ‘I will do it any more’.
    1996 Conc. :eek: Ulster :eek: Dict. 7/1, I think it'll be fine any more.
    Well I've never heard of it before.

    anymore. Unless it appears in a negative statement <the playground has no sand anymore>, this word is dialectal in the sense “nowadays”—e.g.: “Anymore [read Nowadays or These days], the price of housing is outrageous.”
    The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

    PS - The strange usage of anymore was only part of the mystery of the original example sentence as far as I'm concerned. ??night-crawlers??
    Surely those are the strange creatures that appear when you sleep in less-reputable places than you really should? The sentence just didn't make sense to me:confused:
     

    Proudy

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "night-crawlers" is a generic term for large worms, used for fishing. The term comes from the practice of collecting them by hand-held lights at night, usually after a heavy rain. The worms will crawl out of the ground and lay partially exposed. If you are quick, one can grab them before they pull themselves back underground. One needs to walk softly, ground vibrations from heavy foot steps will cause the worms to retract underground.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    panjandrum said:
    Surely those are the strange creatures that appear when you sleep in less-reputable places than you really should? The sentence just doesn't make sense
    A night-crawler is a type of worm used for fishing.

    Upon further research, anymore is not restricted to Southern Backwoods-ese, although it is commonly used as in my previous post, above.

    The constructs below seem perfectly normal and natural.

    Do you dance anymore?
    No. I had to give that up after my knee surgery. My poor joints just can't take any more strain.

    I can't stand to be around Steve anymore. All he does is complain about life after the divorce. Until he decides to move on, I refuse to invite him to any more parties.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    GenJen54 said:
    [...] The constructs below seem perfectly normal and natural.
    Do you dance anymore? [...]
    AHA - now that's the clue to the emergence of anymore meaning nowadays.

    Are you still enjoying the dancing?

    No, I'm afraid I don't dance anymore.
    ... that is a perfectly standard usage of anymore.

    Do you dance anymore?
    ... a small nuance of meaning away from the last sentence.

    We all dance anymore.
    ... quite a big difference, but you can see how it would happen.

    I don't dance anymore, Bill doesn't dance anymore, but George and Paddy do dance anymore.

    :thumbsup: Oh, and thanks for the explanation about the night-crawlers:thumbsup:
     

    Tamlane

    Member
    English, Canada
    I would have to suggest that it hardly matters which form is used as long as sense can be made from it. There isn't any correct way to write much at all in English. This could be exemplified by the lack of an English language governing body. There are suggestions and even recommendations put forward by private bodies, but I would be hesitant to adhere to their 'rules' because they are attempting to enforce some kind of prescrivtivist ideal on English, which has always been a language (with some exceptions in America and Great Britain) that has followed, even unwittingly, a descriptivist tradition. I don't deny that making sense is terribly important, but the difference between 'anymore' and 'any more' is really quite purely stylistic. As is the difference between (or the lack of that difference) lexemes like 'on to' and 'onto', 'into' and 'in to', and any number of other pairs. Anyone who says otherwise should stop attempting to apply rules to something so trivial.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Tamlane said:
    Anyone who says otherwise should stop attempting to apply rules to something so trivial.
    Then call me a trivial prescriptivist and throw me in the grammar jail!!! :) Perhaps this is a BE/AE thing, but to me there are definite differences.

    I can hedge on the use of any more (two words) as an adverb of time. I get it. Not a bother.

    I cannot hedge on the use of anymore as an modifying phrase of quantity.

    There is a significant difference (to me) between the two sentences below. (Purple text added to emphasize inflection.)

    Do you want any more? - Do you want (any) more of what I am offering you? In this structure, "any" serves as an adverb, which modifies the noun modifier more.

    Do you want anymore? - This is asking whether or not a person still has the capability to desire something/someone. It's a bit obscure, I'll admit, but could be heard in one of those "girlfriend" conversations. To my eye, and ear, the one-word variant makes more sense.
     

    Tamlane

    Member
    English, Canada
    I would hardly cite it as a British and American variant difference. And I'm Canadian, and my particular variant is quite unique, thank you. And so are many variants in all three countries. So, in fact, the matter is trivial and it is prescriptivist because it can hardly be said to apply to all English, since it clearly doesn't. I don't deny that there isn't a difference to you, or to others or that there may be no difference at all to some. I only have a problem with how people seem to be contending over the correct usage, when there isn't one at all.
     

    Tamlane

    Member
    English, Canada
    GenJen54 said:
    There is a significant difference (to me) between the two sentences below. (Purple text added to emphasize inflection.)

    Do you want any more? - Do you want (any) more of what I am offering you? In this structure, "any" serves as an adverb, which modifies the noun modifier more.

    Do you want anymore? - This is asking whether or not a person still has the capability to desire something/someone. It's a bit obscure, I'll admit, but could be heard in one of those "girlfriend" conversations. To my eye, and ear, the one-word variant makes more sense.
    I have a problem with the fact that you are suplanting the importance of which 'anymore' to use by placing emphasis on one word or another in the sentence. In speech I would hardly find that anyone could possibly tell whether the word or words 'anymore' is being used simply because of how you emphasise another word. A distinction between 'anymore' and 'any more' cannot be heard. It just can't. And it's meaning doesn't change based on the examples you provided, and I don't care what variant you speak.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Tamlane said:
    I would have to suggest that it hardly matters which form is used as long as sense can be made from it. There isn't any correct way to write much at all in English. This could be exemplified by the lack of an English language governing body.
    In general, I disagree with this statement.
    Followed to its logical conclusion, each of us speaks English however we feel, but none of us is able to understand any of us.
    The purpose of language is to communicate. If the way someone uses language requires me to "make sense from it" then they have created an obstruction to communication.
    One of the delightful strengths of English is its ability to evolve and survive as an effective international communication tool. It can do that because it has an organic set of norms, not a rigid set of rules.
    If you wish to communicate widely in English, you do well to know those norms, to follow them in general, and to flex them with understanding when you need to.

    Incidentally - getting right back to the topic - those interested in any more, anymore, no longer ... may find some of the Similar Threads, listed at the bottom of this page, helpful.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Tamlane: That anymore (any longer) may be written as one word or two has already been noted. Be clear and be consistent is all you need to know.
     

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    What's better? I once wrote "I don't [...] any more" in a test and my teacher said it was wrong, that I should have written it in one word. Then which version's correct?

    Mod Edit: This thread has been merged with one started on the same subject in November 2005. Plesae read the entire thread before posting a duplicate response.
     

    paperclip013

    Member
    Bulgarian, Bulgaria
    Hello,

    How you spell the words - as two or one - depends on what you mean.

    1. "Anymore" written as one word is an adverb.

    Example: I cannot bear your selfishness anymore!
    "Anymore" here refers to the time in the future when I will not bear your selfishness.

    2. When you write it as two words, "any" is a modifier of "more," where "more" is a reference to something else.

    Example: "This is the last piece of cake in the whole store."
    "Are you sure there is not any more left?" Obviously, I am referring to the cake. :)

    Best,
    Paperclip013
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Example: "This is the last piece of cake in the whole store."
    "Are you sure there is not any more left?" Obviously, I am referring to the cake.
    My natural instinct would be to say "anymore" in your example sentence about the cake. Again, meaning "any longer", the sentence refers to whether there is any cake remaining any longer. In this instance, however, I probably wouldn't ponder the question because I'd be more likely to say "Are you sure there's none left?"
     

    paperclip013

    Member
    Bulgarian, Bulgaria
    Hello,

    I think you are mixing up two different things.

    Anymore is a temporal adverb, meaning it modifies time. Hence, "I can't stand this anymore" means the same as "I can't stand this any longer."

    "I don't have any more" - cake, patience, love - means "any" is a pronoun. Get it? Cake is a noun, patience is a noun, love is a noun. I am referring to the noun mentioned earlier in the conversation with a pronoun. Hence "I don't have any left", "I don't have any more left" and "I have none left" all use any and none as prononuns. :)

    Trust me on this one - grammar is not a matter of instincts. ;-)

    Paperclip013
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hello,

    I think you are mixing up two different things.

    Anymore is a temporal adverb, meaning it modifies time. Hence, "I can't stand this anymore" means the same as "I can't stand this any longer."

    "I don't have any more" - cake, patience, love - means "any" is a pronoun. Get it? Cake is a noun, patience is a noun, love is a noun. I am referring to the noun mentioned earlier in the conversation with a pronoun. Hence "I don't have any left", "I don't have any more left" and "I have none left" all use any and none as prononuns. :)

    Trust me on this one - grammar is not a matter of instincts. ;-)

    Paperclip013
    Sorry I didn't express myself more clearly... when I said "my instinct", I meant just that - I understand your meaning but because of your sentence structure (Example: "This is the last piece of cake in the whole store." "Are you sure there is not any more left?"), my instinct would be to say "anymore". As discussed in the thread we've just been merged with, there is the "grammatically-correct" way and there is the way that the word "anymore" seems to be "creeping" into various meanings. Guess I've succumbed! :)
     

    paperclip013

    Member
    Bulgarian, Bulgaria
    Hello,
    I see what you mean now Dimcl. :)

    I think it is a safe assumption to make that in any language we can see a discrepancy between the rules of grammar and their application in everyday speech. Some social scientists even argue that this trend to change or even forego grammatical rules is not only ubiquitous, but accelarating with the pace of technological and scientific progress. However, that's a story for another forum.


    Best,
    Paperclip013
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry to dig this one up again, but the most recent posts are missing out on BE usage. Although anymore, one word, is advancing across the country, the two word version is still used for both the time-related and the quantity-related meanings.

    It might be worthwhile to read through last year's discussion, now merged with this year's:)

    Anymore, one word, is listed in the OED as "Chiefly Irish English and North American colloquial."
    When it says Irish English it is referring to the bottom half of The Island.
     

    estefanos

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    A distinction between 'anymore' and 'any more' cannot be heard. It just can't. And it's meaning doesn't change...[no matter] ...what variant you speak.
    I just came upon this interesting thread. I know I'm reaching quite a ways back, but the following example contrdicts the above, at least to my (AE) mind and ear.

    "I don't buy books anymore because I don't need any more books."

    I hear a disticnt difference between "anymore" and "any more", both in stress and length. I certainly perceive a difference in meaning.
     

    calembourde

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Do you want any more? - Do you want (any) more of what I am offering you? In this structure, "any" serves as an adverb, which modifies the noun modifier more.

    Do you want anymore? - This is asking whether or not a person still has the capability to desire something/someone. It's a bit obscure, I'll admit, but could be heard in one of those "girlfriend" conversations. To my eye, and ear, the one-word variant makes more sense.
    I just came across this thread, and thought I would expand on this example. For any verb which can be either transitive or intransitive, you could have a sentence where ‘any more’ and ‘anymore’ would both make sense, but have different meanings. ‘Want’ is such a verb, but it is not often used as an intransitive verb, which is why the example above sounds obscure. So here are some more natural-sounding examples:

    I can’t eat anymore – intransitive verb. I am unable to eat at all, perhaps because I am full, perhaps because an illness or operation caused me to lose the use of some part of my digestive system.
    I can’t eat any more – transitive verb, where ‘more [of this/of the food previously mentioned]’ is the object. I can’t eat any more of these pickled walnuts, perhaps because I am full, perhaps because they taste disgusting

    Similarly:

    I won’t steal anymore – I’ve decided to stop stealing and lead an honest life.
    I won’t steal any more – Okay, you caught me, but I promise I’m not going to take any more of your chocolate (but maybe I’ll steal other things in the future.)

    Note that in the ‘anymore’ examples it tends to be a long term habit that is stopping whereas the ‘any more’ not only refers to a specific noun but tends to be talking about something more localised in time as well, because they have to refer to a noun that was already mentioned in the conversation or is clear from the context.

    As a speaker of NZ English, which is generally closer to British English than American English, I usually write ‘any more’ for both meanings, but in cases such as this I’d probably use ‘anymore’ where appropriate, to remove the ambiguity. In speech the stress would be in different places, as GenJen54 pointed out.
     

    stallion

    Senior Member
    English-US/Spanish-México
    There's a difference. It's hard to think of examples off the top of my head, but we'll try these:

    "I don't like Laura any more than I like Angela"

    "I don't like Laura anymore"

    Anymore = no longer
    Any more = comparison. So:

    "I don't like Laura more than Angela; not even a little bit"

    "I don't like Laura any longer"

    I hope I didn't confuse. Surely others can describe this to you better, but if not I hope I made at least a little sense :)
    I agree with this and will continue using it as such until I die!
     

    stallion

    Senior Member
    English-US/Spanish-México
    In this side of the water (in BE) many of us would prefer not to use the one-word version, anymore.
    Despite the resistance of some, it is creeping in for the specific meaning that Moogey identified.

    I see, that in parts of the US anymore can also mean "nowadays" - as in:
    "We all use night-crawlers anymore."
    I guess that sentence (quoted from the Dictionary of American Regional English) means something over there - it means nothing at all to me:)

    So, in BE you could safely use "any more" as two words in all contexts. If you use anymore to mean no longer, that would be accepted. But if you are writing to me, please use the two word version:)
    Dear me!!! not for me...
     

    dr_mabeuse

    New Member
    English - American
    It's certainly interesting. I had a teacher who insisted that the only correct spelling is "any more" (with a space) but I too can see it could have different uses. (B.English here)
    Well, if there were only one spelling, that might make it a little awkward in trying to decipher a lover's note that said:

    I couldn't love you anymore.

    vs.

    I couldn't love you any more.

     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Anymore, one word, is listed in the OED as "Chiefly Irish English and North American colloquial."
    When it says Irish English it is referring to the bottom half of The Island.
    I think it really is this simple - the one word version is rarely used in BrE, while it has been explained by the AmE speakers how the oneword version differs from the the two word version. Bifurcation in meaning and spelling is often useful, so it catches on. At first in one region, and if deemed widely useful, it spreads. It seems to be making inroads into BrE. I got used to this after moving here but then was surprised when I first heard the other meaning for the oneword version - as in "nowadays", but only from some people, although I didn't make notes on which region they came from. I'm racking my brains for othe examples of this merging phenomenon but I can't come up with any thing :)
     

    exclamation

    New Member
    American English
    I am new here, and am looking for some clarification. I found this little bit of writing, and it somehow doesn't sit quite right with me as written. I would opt for the 2 word version. Would that be wrong in this particular case? Here is the sentence: "A few moments later, there wasn't anymore time for talking."
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I am new here, and am looking for some clarification. I found this little bit of writing, and it somehow doesn't sit quite right with me as written. I would opt for the 2 word version. Would that be wrong in this particular case? Here is the sentence: "A few moments later, there wasn't anymore time for talking."
    Hello exclamation.

    Welcome to the forum. :)

    Yes, I agree. I would write the sentence with two words:

    A few moments later, there wasn't any more time for talking.


    I would use anymore to mean something like 'any longer'.
    He has moved to Paris. He doesn't live here anymore.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Here is how "anymore, any more (adv.)" are treated in The Columbia Guide to Standard American English by Kenneth G. Wilson:

    These spellings are both acceptable, although anymore is more frequent....Anymore [any more] poses no usage issues except when it occurs in non-negative contexts: All he does anymore is complain. Such uses are dialectal in origin but are now found in Conversational levels nearly everywhere.
    In the case of the non-negative context using anymore as an adverb, the author says that it is avoided in "Edited English," and suggests such replacements as now and nowadays. In the case of a sentence such as "Do you want any more to eat?" the word more is a noun being modified by the adjective any: the two words being separated by a space.

    (The reason the author capitalizes "Edited English" and "Conversational" is that he is using them as labels in the particular system he uses to classify levels of usage which is outlined at the beginning of the book.)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Those ngrams show that 'anymore' is becoming a prevalent usage in the US.
    I have always considered it a mistake and never use it. 'Any more' is usually perfectly clear.

    In writing, for the meaning 'any longer', I tend to say 'any longer' or 'now', etc.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Anyhow, anyway(s), anything, anywhere, anytime (? - this one might share some useful bifurcation as any(-)more but "anylonger" seems further off :) ) - it seems as though "any" has some pulling power to get words to stick to it. We are seeing the living breathing evolving language in action..... As is so often the case, some embrace the change, others take their time and some move on before the word becomes accepted; ultimately the rest are born after acceptance is complete.
     

    NekoEmmi

    New Member
    English - UK
    Hello all, to sum this up...

    In US English, there is a difference between "anymore" and "any more", for example: "I don't want any more food, as I'm not hungry anymore".
    The first one is meaning "more food", as in quantity, and should always be spelled as two words. The second is meaning "any longer", actually I think it can be spelled either way, but "anymore" is more common.

    In British English, there is no difference, and it should always be spelled "any more", for example: "I don't want any more food, as I'm not hungry any more".

    I feel that WordReference needs to clarify the difference between the British English and US English here. It's really confusing and I feel a bit failed by WordReference that it's not clear at all.

    "Anymore" as one word has been creeping into Britain in the 20th century and is now fairly commonplace, especially informally, but that doesn't make it correct. I believe most big-name dictionaries maintain that it should be written as two separate words. Many British people born before the 1990s will continue to insist that it's two words, always should be two words, and merging it into one word whatever the meaning is bad grammar. I actually only noticed this recently, when I realised I could change my computer's spell checker from US English to UK English. It told me off for writing anymore as one word, and I did some research into it. I'm mortified that I have been using the incorrect grammar for some time. Many young British people probably don't think it matters, and in the future I expect that the Americanisation "anymore" will make its way into the dictionary (well, they accepted twerking) :( but for the sake of young British people wanting to learn good "proper" grammar in order to impress prospective employers and elderly relatives and so on, and for people learning English as a foreign language and wanting to learn British English instead of US English, I think it's important that a site with a reputation like WordReference (that's a compliment, folks) should make the clear distinction that "anymore" is the correct spelling in US English, when meaning any longer, however in British English, it should be written "any more" regardless of whether you mean any longer, or any more cake, etc.

    I really hope that WordReference will take this on board, and change the page for this entry so that "anymore" shows as US English only, and that "any more" is shown as "some remaining" for all, but also "any longer". As it is currently, "anymore" is shown as "any longer" with no specification that it's US English, and it doesn't say anywhere that this is incorrect for British English, they even offer a British pronunciation button for this false word. And as for "anymore" meaning "these days", well I had never even heard of that, definitely correctly identified as a US regional variation, and very interesting!

    Would it also be possible that the search for "any more" and "anymore" either takes you to the same place, or offers a link to the other? At present, searching for "anymore" gives you information about "anymore" and "any more" (albeit incorrect information), but if you search for "any more", only the entry for "any more" is shown, which doesn't include the British English "any more" meaning "any longer". Also if someone was seeking the US "anymore" and typed "any more", they wouldn't find it. Since the word sounds the same but can be written two ways, it makes sense that writing it either way takes you to the information about both, since young people and English as a Foreign Language students are likely to type the wrong spelling from time to time, especially when searching in a dictionary. I hope these comments were useful to someone! :)
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome NekoEmmi

    Whether I type "anymore" or "any more" into the search box at the top of the page I find the following, either as the first entry or lower down the page, where the one word form is clearly identified as US.

    any more, esp US anymore /ˌɛnɪˈmɔː/ adv
    • any longer; still; now or from now on; nowadays
    Does the dictionary work differently for you?
     
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    NekoEmmi

    New Member
    English - UK
    Wow well, it would seem that since I wrote the post yesterday, something has changed! It is different today. And I am pleased that it does seem to be much better now. Hooray :) Thank you whoever listened to me/us!
     
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