Anything vs Nothing

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What’s the difference between them?

Anything

Meaning:

'a thing of any kind; something, no matter what.'

Examples:

1. I would do anything to help you.

2. Is there anything I can do to help?

3. Anything is possible if you try hard enough.

Nothing

Meaning:

the absence or lack of anything; no thing or not anything.

Examples:

1. I asked him why he was so quiet, but he replied with nothing.

2. It seems like nothing is going right today.

3. She stared at the empty cupboard and felt like there was nothing left to do.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Anything

1. All

2. Anything whatsoever

3. Anything imaginable

4. Anything at all

5. Everything

1. Nothing

2. Everything Else

3. Opposite

4. Reverse

5. Abstain

Nothing

1. No thing

2. Naught

3. Zero

4. Vacuous

5. Nil

1. Something

2. Everything

3. Anything

4. All

5. Abundance

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Anything", "Nothing".

1. Use 'anything' to refer to a thing of any kind, no matter what it is.

2. Use 'nothing' to refer to the absence or lack of anything.

3. 'Anything is something, but nothing is no thing.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the word 'anything' be used?

Anything can be used to refer to an unspecified object or objects, or to refer to any type of action, situation, condition, or feeling. For example, 'I'd do anything to help' or 'I can't think of anything I need.'

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'nothing'?

Nothing can be used to refer to the absence or lack of any object, action, situation, condition, or feeling. For example, 'I have nothing to do tonight' or 'There's nothing to be afraid of.'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

A3 No, anything and nothing are both pronounced as /ˈeniθɪŋ/ and /ˈnʌθɪŋ/, respectively.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is confusing the two, such as saying 'I have nothing to do anything with.' Another mistake is using them to modify nouns, such as saying 'I need anything help' instead of 'I need any help.'

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I wanted to do __, but I didnt have the resources.

2. She said she would do it, but she ended up doing __.

3. I was so excited to get it, but in the end it was __.

4. I put a lot of effort into it, but the result was __.

5. We thought it would be difficult, but in the end it was __.

6. I was expecting ___ to happen, but nothing did.

1. I wanted to do anything, but I didnt have the resources.

Explanation: The word anything is used here to indicate that the speaker wanted to do something but was unable to due to lack of resources.

2. She said she would do it, but she ended up doing nothing.

Explanation:The word nothing is used here to indicate that the speakers expectations were not met and that nothing happened in the end.

3. I was so excited to get it, but in the end it was nothing.

Explanation: The word nothing is used here to indicate that the speakers expectations were not met and that nothing was ultimately obtained.

4. I put a lot of effort into it, but the result was nothing.

Explanation: The word nothing is used here to indicate that the speakers efforts yielded no results.

5. We thought it would be difficult, but in the end it was nothing.

Explanation: The word nothing is used here to indicate that the speakers expectations were not met and that nothing ended up happening.

6. I was expecting anything to happen, but nothing did.

Explanation: The word anything is used here to indicate that the speaker had hoped something would happen, but in the end nothing did.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.