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Anything / Everything

English translation: anything is a selection; everything is the whole set

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Difference: anything / everything
English translation:anything is a selection; everything is the whole set
Entered by: Herbert Fipke
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20:49 Oct 25, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Marketing / Ad slogan
English term or phrase: Anything / Everything
Has anyone a brief explanation of the difference between these two terms?
Example:
Anything with a combustion engine
Everything with a combustion engine
Herbert Fipke
Germany
Local time: 16:46
explanation below
Explanation:
This is interesting, as I was once in a discussion about the difference between these two!

Everything = ALL that relates to the subject;

for instance, if you say, "Pick out everything that is blue", then you would choose ALL things that are blue

Anything = one thing or some indiscriminately of whatever kind: used to indicate one thing selected without restriction

For instance, if you say, "Pick out anything that is blue", then you would choose one thing at random, maybe more, but not necessarily ALL things that are blue...that would be choosing "everything".

Wish I could explain it better, but the main difference is that everything is restricted and to ALL items; anything is not ALL items, but any random one of them.

Another example: If one asks, "What would you like for dinner?" Then...
"Everything in the refrigerator" would be all items in their totality that are in the refrigerator.

But...

"Anything in the refrigerator" would be probably one item at random from the refrigerator, but not all items.

As far as using this in your context goes, it might help understand it better if you add a verb to the sentence with something like, "I'll buy...everything with a combustion engine" would mean you want to buy ALL things that have a combustion engine.

"I'll buy...anything with a combustion engine" - then that means you will take one thing at random as long as it has a combustion engine.

Kind of an elementary explanation, but hope it helps. Try to figure out the difference between anyone/everyone now! :)
Selected response from:

Jennie Sherrick, MA
United States
Local time: 10:46
Grading comment
Thank you all for your help. It was really difficult to decide who should get the points. In the end, Jennie's fridge made it totally clear to me what it's all about. After all these explanations, I would prefer "everything with a (n internal) combustion engine".
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +4anything is a selection; everything is the whole set
GoodWords
4 +2SEE COMMENT
Tony M
4 +1explanation below
Jennie Sherrick, MA
4See explanation
Kim Metzger


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
anything is a selection; everything is the whole set


Explanation:
"Everything with a combustion engine" means to consider the entire set of things with a combustion engine. "Anything" means any member of the set; it doesn't matter which one.

GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 189

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JCEC
1 min

agree  Refugio: Clear, logical, and correct, GW.
14 mins

agree  Fuad Yahya: . . . and concise.
24 mins

agree  NancyLynn
36 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
See explanation


Explanation:
Anything with a combustion engine. I can think of two possibilities here because something is missing. 1. Anything TO DO with a combustion engine would mean whatever has any connection to a com. eng. 2. Any machine/device with a com. eng. would mean any machine whatsoever - without restriction.

Everything with TO DO with a combustion engine. All matters, issues involving a comb. engine. Everything with a combustion engine = all machines that have comb. engines.
Any = without restriction
Every = all



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-25 22:09:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here\'s a useful discussion of the difference:
Any and every can both be used to talk in general about all the members of a class or group. Any/every child can learn to swim.
The meaning is not quite the same. Any looks at things one at a time: it means \'whichever one you choose\', \'this or that or the other\'. Every looks at things together: its meaning is closer to \'all\', \'this and that and the other\'.
Compare: \'Which newspaper would you like?\' \'It doesn\'t matter. Any one.\'
One the stand there were newspapers and magazines of every kind.

Michael Swan, Practical English Usage

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-25 23:58:55 (GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

On the stand ...

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
explanation below


Explanation:
This is interesting, as I was once in a discussion about the difference between these two!

Everything = ALL that relates to the subject;

for instance, if you say, "Pick out everything that is blue", then you would choose ALL things that are blue

Anything = one thing or some indiscriminately of whatever kind: used to indicate one thing selected without restriction

For instance, if you say, "Pick out anything that is blue", then you would choose one thing at random, maybe more, but not necessarily ALL things that are blue...that would be choosing "everything".

Wish I could explain it better, but the main difference is that everything is restricted and to ALL items; anything is not ALL items, but any random one of them.

Another example: If one asks, "What would you like for dinner?" Then...
"Everything in the refrigerator" would be all items in their totality that are in the refrigerator.

But...

"Anything in the refrigerator" would be probably one item at random from the refrigerator, but not all items.

As far as using this in your context goes, it might help understand it better if you add a verb to the sentence with something like, "I'll buy...everything with a combustion engine" would mean you want to buy ALL things that have a combustion engine.

"I'll buy...anything with a combustion engine" - then that means you will take one thing at random as long as it has a combustion engine.

Kind of an elementary explanation, but hope it helps. Try to figure out the difference between anyone/everyone now! :)



    Reference: http://www.m-w.com/
Jennie Sherrick, MA
United States
Local time: 10:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8
Grading comment
Thank you all for your help. It was really difficult to decide who should get the points. In the end, Jennie's fridge made it totally clear to me what it's all about. After all these explanations, I would prefer "everything with a (n internal) combustion engine".

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn
21 mins
  -> Thanks NancyLynn!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

32 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
SEE COMMENT


Explanation:
By the way, shouldn't that be either 'internal' or 'external' combustion engine? As far as I know, we don't usually talk of simply 'a combustion engine', do we?

Tony M
France
Local time: 16:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 3234

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JCEC: Makes sense
4 mins
  -> Thanks, JCEC!

agree  marfus: o yeah
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Marfus!
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