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As you all can easily see I'm not a native speaker. Over the years I was convinced that the correct expression had to be "everything is possible" but now I'm not sure anymore.

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  • ngram gives "anything".
    – Graffito
    Feb 23, 2016 at 0:37

5 Answers 5

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Both are correct depending on what you want to say. They don't mean exactly the same thing.

"Anything is possible" is very optimistic. One would say this if they were hoping for an extraordinary event to happen. For example, "I would love to learn how to snowboard one day" could be responded with "anything is possible!". In that sense, it's a very hopeful, optimistic phrase.

"Everything is possible" means that every single thing is possible. There is a slight difference between "every" and "any"; every typically means ALL THINGS whereas any means any ONE of those things. If that makes sense. This phrase might stir up some debate because technically speaking, everything is NOT possible. It's not possible for a human to fly without any sort of assistance (as an example). While this phrase has a very similar meaning to "anything is possible", it could very well lead to people giving you retorts as to what is not possible.

I would say that "anything is possible" is far more commonly used than "everything is possible". It also sounds more colloquial for everyday use. I wouldn't blink an eye if someone said "anything is possible", but if they said "everything is possible" that might stir up some debate.

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  • With respect to snowboard, the answer "anything is possible" immediately sounds sarcastic to me (as a non-native speaker). Am I being overly pessimistic?
    – YoungFrog
    Jan 29, 2017 at 14:49
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Put your head down, work hard and anything is possible.

Put your head down, work hard and everything is possible.

Anything - there are no limits to what is possible.

Everything - all known options are possible.

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Anything = any member of the set All Things

Everything = the set of all things

The idiomatic saying is "anything is possible". It means we cannot predict with any degree of certainty what will happen.

It takes a special context for "Everything is possible". That sounds more philosophical, or as @anongoodnurse says, theological. It is not the typical everyday saying.

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It depends a bit on context.

It's more common in the US to hear (or say), "Anything is possible". It doesn't really mean that everything is actually possible, of course; it usually is just said as an encouragement or an expression of surprise:

  • You might get hired tomorrow; anything is possible. (encouragement)
  • Well, if he got hired for that job, then surely anything is possible! (surprise)

"Everything is possible" is often heard in matters of faith, miracles, etc.

Everything is possible for one who believes. Mk 9:23

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Everything is possible in the world. If someone says that I wanna do something, then that person should have willpower and determination. Without willpower and determination, nothing is possible, and also that thing makes some sense.

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    Welcome to English Language Learners! I'm not really sure how this is supposed to answer the question.
    – Glorfindel
    Feb 1, 2017 at 9:16

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