1. use with singular or plural nouns.
Any can be used with a singular or plural noun, or with an uncountable noun such as homework and happiness, to denote choice from three or more people or things (for choice from two, either is used):

• The most basic of data security precautions for any individual or company employing microcomputers is the making of back-ups —Times, 1985

• This letter is addressed to you and is not being copied to any other party —Daily Telegraph, 1986

• At any moment a change in voltage can wipe out what one has written —Listener, 1985

Any food found in passengers' luggage will be confiscated

• Neither government was behind it, nor were there any sponsors, angels, captains of commerce or industry —Los Angeles Times, 1986.

When used with a singular countable noun (i.e. one that has a plural, such as book or person) it is always assertive in meaning: I did not want any book (= I wanted a particular book) as distinct from I did not want any books (normally = I wanted none) and I did not want any sugar (normally = I wanted no sugar).
2. as a pronoun.
Any functions as a pronoun as well as a determiner:

• By dialling 1, 0, a three-digit access code and the area code and number, a caller can use any of eight different long distance companies —New York Times, 1985

If you keep ferrets don't let any escape

It's as good an excuse as any to buy a new car.

3. with comparatives and superlatives.
It is better to use a comparative with any other than a superlative with any: not ☒ the most brutal piece of legislation of any passed by this government but a more brutal piece of legislation than any other passed by this government. An alternative is to use all instead of any: the most brutal piece of legislation of all those passed by this government.
4. any one and anyone.
As one word, anyone means the same as anybody and is interchangeable with it (Anyone could do that / Anybody could do that). As two words, it means ‘any single person or thing’, as in You can have any one you like (any you like would include the possibility of more than one). Examples:

• The virtual photon rematerializes into any one of a very large number of possible combinations of new particles —Scientific American, 1978

• If you think you could help in any one of the areas, please talk to the Parish Priest —Sligo Weekender, 2004.

5. other one-word and two-word forms.
Any more is used chiefly after a negative and is usually written as two words in BrE

• (He is not lying there any more —Penelope Lively, 1987)

although it is found more often as one word in other varieties and increasingly also in BrE

• (He wasn't a schoolkid anymore —M. du Plessis, SAfr 1983

• No one talks about emigrating anymore —Metropolis Magazine, AmE 2002

• That's not happening anymore because they're all finding better conditions abroad —Evening News (Edinburgh), 2007).

Perhaps it is needless to point out that when more modifies a following adjective any has to be a separate word

• (It doesn't get any more real than when the acrid smoke from a pile of green logs in a circular stone-flanked hearth doesn't escape from an Iron Age roundhouse —Birmingham Post, 2007).

Anyhow is only written as one word and is a (usually more informal) alternative for anyway

• (Anyhow I'm carving out a career there teaching the boss's daughter to read novels —Thomas Keneally, 1985

• Home is not the place for charm anyway —London Review of Books, 1987).

Note that any way is spelt as two words to retain their separate meaning, as in Is there any way I can help? and Do it any way you like.
Any place and any time are also often spelt as single words in AmE:

• She said she would vote for him anytime —New Yorker, 1987

• I wouldn't have wanted to know her as a child, but once a man, anytime —M. Doane, 1988

• Content is available anytime, anyplace, and on whatever device the owner desires —Business Week Magazine, AmE 2002.

The archaic adverbial form any ways survives in the Book of Common Prayer (All those who are any ways afflicted…in mind, body, or estate) and in the Authorized Version of the Bible (And if the people of the land doe any wayes hide their eyes from the men). Otherwise it is restricted to informal AmE: So who promised this guy anything anyways?
6. as an adverb.
Any is correctly used as an adverb to emphasize a comparative adjective or adverb (They are not treated like schoolgirls any longer / He can't play any better / She refuses to go any further). In informal AmE, and occasionally in BrE, it can stand alone with the meaning ‘at all’:

• We're used to responsibility. Doesn't worry us any —Agatha Christie, 1937

• It's not going to help any with my exams —New Yorker, 1988.

Modern English usage. 2014.

(of many), / (indefinitely), , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Any — A ny, a. & pron. [OE. [ae]ni[yogh], [ae]ni, eni, ani, oni, AS. [=ae]nig, fr. [=a]n one. It is akin to OS. [=e]nig, OHG. einic, G. einig, D. eenig. See {One}.] 1. One indifferently, out of an indefinite number; one indefinitely, whosoever or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Any — A ny, adv. To any extent; in any degree; at all. [1913 Webster] You are not to go loose any longer. Shak. [1913 Webster] Before you go any farther. Steele. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • any — I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ǣnig; akin to Old High German einag any, Old English ān one more at one Date: before 12th century 1. one or some indiscriminately of whatever kind: a. one or another taken at random < ask… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • any — See: HARDLY ANY or SCARCELY ANY …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • ANY — assign NYX routing …   Military dictionary

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  • any port in a storm — Any help is welcome in an emergency. A proverb. * /The motel we stopped in was nothing to brag about, but we were so exhausted that it was a clear case of any port in a storm./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • any port in a storm — Any help is welcome in an emergency. A proverb. * /The motel we stopped in was nothing to brag about, but we were so exhausted that it was a clear case of any port in a storm./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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