Anyone vs. Everyone?

 

Anyone is used when you don’t know who the person is/will be or how many people are/will be.  Usually used in a negative sentence or in a question.

 

Everyone is used when referring to all the people.  You are definite.  It is known.  It refers to all the people, not some person or some people.  Usually used in an affirmative sentence.

 

For example:

(1) I have learned that the power to rise is not within the reach of anyone.

Here we mean some one but I don’t know who.  The power is not within the reach of a certain person.

 

(2) I have learned that the power to rise is not within the reach of everyone.

Here we mean all the people.  The power is not within the reach of all the people on earth.

 

More examples: 

(1) I do not like to share my meal with anyone. (negative, unknown, I don't know who)

I like to share my meal with everyone. (affirmative, known, all the people)

I don't like to share my meal with everyone. (affirmative, known, all the people)

 

(2) Is anyone going to the party tonight?

=> You are asking if any person is going.  (you don't know who)

Is everyone going to the party tonight?

=> You are questioning (confirming) if all the people are going.  (known, all the people)

 

Can you tell the difference in tone and usage?

I am sad to say that a lot of the English teaching in Taiwan is wrong and too rigid.  A lot of the time, there is not one accurate answer.  It depends on the tone of the sentence and what you are trying to portray.

 

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