In a book description I found: "This book will definitely lift up your mood and you'll feel capable of achieving almost anything".

As you can imagine the sense has to be made in a positive way (they are trying to sell the book, of course). Nonetheless, being a non-native English speaker and an English student I would have used EVERYTHING -which is what you would achieve reading that book - instead of ANYTHING.

I tried to consult some educational material but the everytime explanation is: "anything is used in questions and negative sentences" but this doesn't help me out in understanding.

Thanks for your clarification

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of use of everything and anything
    – user22427
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 14:32
  • Could you link some of these sources that suggest anything is negative if possible? As Jan Doggen links to above, everything and anything are different things
    – Smock
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 14:58
  • 1
    You're over-extending the meaning of Anything is a Negative Polarity Item. All it really means is that in certain syntactic contexts, only one of Negative / Positive Polarity Items can be used. Thus for example, He has something but I don't have anything is fine, whereas He has anything but I don't have something doesn't work. This is a syntactic issue, which is nothing to do with "good/bad connotations". The syntax of my examples is unchanged regardless of whether they're about having dread diseases or good things. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


In this sentence and other sentences anything is used as a pronoun and it means any event,object,whatever or something.

Also in this sentence, anything is used with almost. So, if you use everything with almost it will not be correct.

There are some examples with anything:

He said I could order anything on the menu.

She could be anything (= any age) between 30 and 40.

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