SOS English: Anybody vs. Everybody vs. Somebody

Anyone, anybody, anything, anywhere, everyone, everybody, everything, everywhere, someone, somebody,… you get the point. All those words are indefinite pronouns we use for people, things, and places. And since there are so many of them, it’s not unusual that sometimes we have to think twice if “anybody” or “everybody” wants f.e. some cookies. (Who can’t say “no” to cookies?)

Anyway – we’re here to clear any doubts (and afterward get some cookies)! ūüôā 

“Any” vs. “Every”

The words “any” and “every” are both determiners (words that are used to refer to or quantify nouns) and pronouns (words that sometimes are determiners themselves, BUT can take the place of a whole noun phrase.)

“Any” = chooses one or a few people, items, or places from a group – but never all of them.

“Every” = chooses all people, items, or places from a group.

He was unable to answer any of my questions.
We don’t have¬†any¬†milk left.
You can visit us any time you want.

He went to every concert of them.
They wanted every student to clean up their desks after class.
Every day I keep thinking of you.

“Any” vs. “Some”

Just like the word “every,” “some” also is both a determiner and pronoun. Unlike “every,” however, “some” indicates that you’ll never choose all people, items, or places from a group. It’s quite similar to “any,” yet there are still significant differences of usage between these two words.

“Any” = for negative statements and questions

“Some” = for positive statements and specific questions (offering someone something and asking someone for something, or when we expect the answer to be “yes”)

Do you have any questions?
I’ve never seen¬†anything¬†like that before.
He never thought about sharing this with anybody.

Would you like some cookies?
He’s got to know¬†something, at least.
Can I get some ketchup to my fries, please?

One last thing:

Anyone vs. Anybody / Everyone vs. Everybody / Someone vs. Somebody

They both mean the same, meaning: we can use them interchangeably. 

The same goes for “someone” and “somebody,” as well as “everyone” and “everybody.”