Grammar Bite #15 – Use of ‘any more’ and ‘anymore’

15 September 2011

 

Today’s grammar bite comes in response to a question by one of our readers, Patrick, who gave me permission to publish it. Thanks, Patrick!

 

Hello Deborah,

 

Some friends are discussing the meaning of sentences with 'anymore'. Our findings are as follows but they surprised us. Can you share your opinions?

 

1) I can't agree with you. (not agree)

2) I can't agree with you anymore. (no longer agree)

3) I can't agree more. (absolutely agree)

4) I can't agree with you any more. (absolutely agree)

 

If it's true, how can we differentiate 'anymore' or 'any more'?

 

Thx

Patrick

 

Hello Patrick,

 

Good to hear from you again. Thanks for your questions about ‘anymore’/’any more’.


Here’s what I’ve found:

 

There are two meanings:

1.    any more (two words) OR anymore (single word) are adverbs you can use interchangeably. They mean ‘any longer’ or ‘nowadays’.

Example: He doesn’t work here any more / anymore. [meaning: He doesn’t work here any longer. OR  He no longer works here.]

 

They are used in 3 main forms:

·      negative – Joe can’t run any  more / anymore, because he damaged his knees. 

·      interrogative (question) – Do you travel much any more / anymore?

·      conditional – If you do that any more / anymore, I’ll leave.

 

2.   any more (2 separate words) means ‘additional’. It can be used in two forms:

 

·      As an adverb (any) + adjective (more) + noun:

Example: I don’t want any more cake.

 

·      As an adjective (any) + noun (more):

Example: I don’t want any more.

 

Now let’s look at your examples:

1.    I can't agree with you. (not agree) – This is the correct use and meaning.

2.   I can't agree with you anymore. (no longer agree) – This is also the correct use and meaning.

3.   I can't agree more. (absolutely agree) – Again, the correct use and meaning. [You often see this form as: I couldn’t agree more.]

4.   I can't agree with you any more. (absolutely agree) – Here you’ve got the correct use but the incorrect meaning. The correct meaning is ‘no longer agree’.

 

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