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We use 'body' and 'one' for referring to a person like: everyone, somebody, no one etc. So I want to know is there any difference in usage between them i.e:

  • Everyone vs Everybody
  • Someone vs Somebody
  • No one vs Nobody
  • Anyone vs Anybody

In other words, Is there any recommendation to choose one over another in what cases etc.

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  • 2
    Don't expect downvotes for questions about the English language. That's why we're here. It's not a stupid question at all.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 14:59
  • I think there is a little difference, as far as I know, everyone is more specific than everybody.
    – Cardinal
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:03

1 Answer 1

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The two options are generally interchangeable. There may be some regional preferences. I believe that the -one options are considered to be slightly more formal and the -body forms slightly less formal.

As an example, here's an article from the Cambridge dictionary site specifically about "anyone" vs "anybody".

Anyone and anybody have no difference in meaning. Anybody is a little less formal than anyone. Anyone is used more in writing than anybody

And, a general guide on indefinite pronouns that says the same:

-body and -one mean the same thing. In informal contexts, we use indefinite pronouns ending in -body more often than pronouns ending in -one. The forms with -one are more common in formal writing

I tend to agree with this. Some people may have other thoughts.

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  • And a M-W editor seems to agree with this as well.
    – stillenat
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:27
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    Exactly. I'd add that the choice of one or the other is usually prosodic: which creates the more pleasing or more emphatic rhythm. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:43

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