2

a. I got an invitation from their company and thought they really liked me. Then I found out that they send invitations to anyone.

b. The fact that you received samples of their chocolates doesn't mean anything. They send them to anyone.

I don't think 'anyone' can be replaced with 'everyone' in the above sentences. They send them more or less haphazardly, but they can't send them to everyone.

I think 'anyone' sounds a bit odd in these sentences, but actually the sentences are fine.

Am I correct?

Many thanks.

1
  • 1
    to just anyone would work.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 20:44

2 Answers 2

1

In general, everyone refers to all the members of a group, and anyone refers to some or all the members of a group. Anyone can also be used to add emphasis.

In your examples, you can use either word. They are interchangeable. I personally prefer everyone because I think there's context implied in your examples. Take the first (I made a couple of other suggestions, too):

(a) Since I got an invitation from the company, I thought they really liked me. Then I found out that they send invitations to everyone.

"The group" that you're talking about comes from the conversation and is implied in the sentence. But it's probably something like:

... Then I found out that they send invitations to everyone [who interviews there].

Everyone is a better choice because you mean all members of the group, or every person who interviewed at the company.

Anyone would typically be used for emphasis, and probably needs the future tense:

... Then I found out that they will send invitations to anyone.


Here's the second example:

b. The fact that you received samples of their chocolates doesn't mean anything. They send them to everyone.

Again, either is fine but I prefer everyone because I think there's implied information about what the group is, and that you mean every person in the group. For example:

...They send them to everyone [who buys roses].

You can use anyone for empahsis:

... They will send them to absolutely anyone!


FWIW, there are some cases where anyone and everyone are not interchangeable because the meaning changes slightly. For example, suppose you ask this question of a group of 10 kids:

Does anyone want pizza for dinner?

The answer is yes if 1 or more people want pizza.

Does everyone want pizza for dinner?

The answer is yes only if all 10 want pizza.

0

Yes, both your sentences are correct and natural English. And you're right that "anyone" means people that were not specially selected. "Anyone" cannot be replaced with "everyone".

2
  • I disagree. They are completely interchangeable in the sentences provided. Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 0:16
  • @swmcdonnell You think, "They send invitations to everyone" means exactly the same as "They send invitations to anyone"? Like, there's no difference in the implied number of invitations sent out?
    – gotube
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 2:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .