The Grammarphobia Blog

Get around much anymore?


Q: I see lots of “anymore” as opposed to “any more” these days. What’s correct?


A: These are two different usages, and each is standard English. They’re both used here: “I can’t take any more of this movie. I guess I just don’t like Rogers & Hammerstein anymore.”

“Anymore” is an adverb meaning “any longer” or “now,” as in “I don’t live there anymore.” It’s often seen in negative contexts like that one.

The phrase “any more” is most often used to talk about quantities of things. “Would you like any more dessert?” … “I don’t care for any more, thank you.”

People often ask about another sense of “anymore,” one that used to be termed a dialectal usage (that is, not standard English). In this sense it means “nowadays” or “these days” in a positive statement.

Here are a few examples: “I prefer to take the bus anymore”; “She wears black anymore”; “Jobs are getting scarce anymore”; “The days are getting shorter anymore.”

That usage is no longer termed dialectal in either The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.) or Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Both say it’s widely heard in many regions of the US.

For example, it’s very common in the Midwest, and I heard it all the time when I was growing up in Iowa.

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