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While writing or speaking informal American English, can we use the adverb "anyplace" this way? Or is the preferred usage "any place" (separate words)? As I understand it, the adverb "anyplace" means "anywhere," but can it be used this way?

"Let's find a place to eat."

"Is there anyplace useful within the campus?"

"I'm not sure. Let's find out."

  • Yes, this use of anyplace is idiomatic in AmE. – P. E. Dant Jul 18 '17 at 18:20
  • Not really much of an answer, but you are welcome. I often decry the google search as a tool in learning English, but in the case of anyplace, such a search might have answered your question for you! – P. E. Dant Jul 18 '17 at 18:59
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    I would stick with anywhere. I think it can be used in most cases and seems more natural (to me anyway). In some contexts they are not the same. I would not say "You can buy that book anyplace". – user3169 Jul 18 '17 at 19:21
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    @user3169 Anyplace is extremely idiomatic in some AmE dialects; in many locales, it will be heard much more often than anywhere in such a context, "to where it is the usual way of saying it", as it might be expressed in that idiom. – P. E. Dant Jul 18 '17 at 20:19
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The Usage notes from dictionary.com cover this question remarkably well. Should anyplace be one word or two words? Is it formal or informal? etc.

Usage note

The adverb anyplace is most often written as one word: Anyplace you look there are ruins. It occurs mainly in informal speech and only occasionally in writing. Anywhere is by far the more common form in formal speech and edited writing. The same holds true, respectively, of the adverbial pairs everyplace and everywhere; noplace and nowhere; and someplace and somewhere. The two-word noun phrases any place, every place, no place, and some place occur, however, in all contexts: We can build the house in any place we choose. There's no place like home.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/anyplace


To answer more specifically about your example "anyplace useful" - while that's understandable, another phrase might be preferred. "Useful" is not typically applied to restaurants.

instead of:

"Let's find a place to eat."
"Is there anyplace useful within the campus?"

try:

Is there anyplace good on campus?
Are there any good places on campus?
Do you know a place on campus?

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