It didn't help us any.

I came across this usage of "any" which I don't think I have heard before.
The only case of "any" used at the end of a sentence that I am familiar with is when what comes after it is omitted and understood from the context, as in:

Do you have friends?
I don't have any.

However, I don't think "didn't help us any" is a similar case since it seems to be another way of saying: It didn't help us at all.

Is this usage of "any" common?
Are there certain verbs usually used in this construction?

  • 1
    Mainly US casual. Jun 10, 2021 at 17:08
  • 2
    Actually, I don't think this usage is at all common. The specific cited example does occur in informal conversational contexts (more often in AmE rather than BrE), but apart from contexts involving negated help, I can't think of any other places where it occurs. You can't normally say things like I didn't like him any, for example (or if you do, it'll probably be taken as a sure-fire indicator of poor schooling). The "valid" phrasing is any = in any way (that's not particularly informal / dialectal). Jun 10, 2021 at 17:09
  • Yes, it is usual in the States. To be of any help. to not help any. Slightly trashy.
    – Lambie
    Jun 10, 2021 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


This usage of any isn't uncommon and makes perfect sense. Any in this sense is used adverbially and means:

to any degree or extent; at all

Thus, It didn't help us any means It didn't help us at all.

But in your other example, any is used adjectivally (and not adverbially!)

Do you have any friends?

i don't have any [friends.]

Here friends is the implied object, which is omitted.


I personally would classify the cited usage as substandard / dialectal, on a par with I don't feel any too good.

Offhand I couldn't think of any other verbs apart from [negated] help that would be likely to accept adverbial modification using just any rather than the full form in any way. but I did find this definition and examples in thefreedictionary....

any defn 3. (esp US) (= at all)
It doesn't help us any.
Does she sing any?

They don't actually say it's substandard, but that's my firm belief. And I have to say that whereas I've heard the first example often enough to tolerate (and feasibly even replicate) it, the second example (with a different verb) strikes me as far more "downmarket" - and I really couldn't endorse using it in contexts like I don't work any, so I'd advise learners to simply avoid it completely

  • I disagree: "any" is a common casual substitute for "at all" in my "dialect" (midwestern Am.E). Dialectal, maybe. Substandard, degraded, or on par with your "any too good" example, not at all. Your advice for learners to avoid using it is probably good, though.
    – TypeIA
    Jun 10, 2021 at 17:43
  • Presumably even you wouldn't be comfortable with me asking Do you endorse this syntax any? And since there's no obvious way to define some "line in the sand" beyond which this usage can be extended, it seems to me learners are simply asking for trouble trying to incorporate something like this into their "productive" vocabulary. (But I'm getting kinda used to being downvoted for offering that advice here! :) Jun 11, 2021 at 10:36

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