Who Needs Any More Trouble with Anymore?

I don’t want to spend any more time on this than is necessary, but we should touch on any more and anymore. One word or two? That depends on what you want to communicate and if you’re using British or American English.

Standard American English recognizes two distinct meanings:

Any more (two words) is an adjective phrase meaning “any additional.”

  • I don’t want any more coffee.

Anymore is an adverb meaning “any longer” or “nowadays” or “still.” It can be used in a negative sense:

  • I don’t drink coffee anymore.

Or in a positive sense:

  • Do you carry coffee anymore in this store?

Another way of thinking of the distinction between the two, according to Bryan Garner (Modern American Usage), is to use anymore to indicate time and any more for quantity or degree. Both are at play in this example:

  • I don’t drink coffee anymore because I don’t need any more caffeine.

British English is more likely to identify anymore as an alternative spelling of any more without acknowledging a distinction in meaning.

One final note. When you follow with the word than, always use the two-word any more.

  • I don’t like paying $3.50 for a cup of coffee any more than you do.

Okay, I won’t bother you anymore or give you any more examples!

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  1. I’m an early boomer (born 1947), and throughout my school years, I was always taught to write the expression as two words, no matter what the usage. First time I ever saw “anymore” was in publicity for the 1974 film, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” and it made me want to add (sic). A friend of mine is a 75-year-old, working copyeditor, and she found out about “anymore” only a couple of years ago, when she tried to correct it in an e-mail I sent her. (She was mortified.) So it is a relatively new construction.

    1. Wow, interesting Linda. The evolution of language is so interesting. I saw a interview with Stephen Fry once where he explained that kids are saying “book” instead of “cool” because their phones autocorrect suggests the former when they type “bo”, so they just decided collectively to switch over to “book”. What a wacky world 🙂

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