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Thread: Nevermore!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Nevermore!

    A quick question for you grammar gurus out there. I'm drawing a blank on this one, regarding "anymore" vs. "any more".

    If I tell someone I no longer love her (hypothetically, of course), would it be "I don't love you anymore." or "I don't love you any more."? I'm thinking the latter version is correct, but Word keeps flagging it as possibly incorrect usage, so it's throwing me off.

    What the official difference in usage, or are they actually synonymous?



  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I've seen it both ways. I think people for the most part simply let context determine the meaning, but more often use "anymore" as the catch-all. So the rule is kind of in flux, but I'll tell you MY rule for it.

    I think of "any more" in terms of quantity, usually comparing an past or existing quantity of something to a potential quantity of the same thing in the present or future. The "quantity" is typically not exact, but just an increase, except when used negatively to imply no change in quantity, or with inflection, affirming a decrease.

    Do you want any more peas? [yes, I want more, or no, I've had enough or too many]
    Do you still love me as much? I don't love you any more. [than I ever have, or with inflection, I love you less]
    Any more Indians show up, and we can kiss our scalps good-bye.

    I think of "anymore" in terms of time, as in "at present" or "now". Often, it's used negatively to indicate the present reversal of conditions that once existed in the past.

    Do you want peas anymore? [yes, I still want them, or no, but I used to]
    Do you still love me as much? I don't love you anymore. [I once loved you, but now I don't]
    Anymore, the Indians scalp us as soon as look at us. [now, at present]

    That's my two cents.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 05-27-2014 at 04:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
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    Anymore would seem correct. As John said "any more" would imply a quantity.

  4. #4
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Same with "anyway" and "any way". For example,

    "It doesn't matter anyway."
    "There didn't seem to be any way."

    In your case, "I don't love you anymore" is to me the correct wording.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    "Anyway" and "any way" is more clearcut, because "anyway" is an adverb, and "way" is a noun. But because "anymore" and "more" are both adverbs, it makes for more confusion. Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives, even other adverbs, so they can shuffle around in sentences pretty easily and change meaning with each shuffle.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Excellent insights, all. That more or less lines up with how I've been using them, but it helps to have a "rule" in mind as I go, so that I can at least use the options consistently. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    "Anyway" and "any way" is more clearcut, because "anyway" is an adverb, and "way" is a noun. But because "anymore" and "more" are both adverbs, it makes for more confusion. Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives, even other adverbs, so they can shuffle around in sentences pretty easily and change meaning with each shuffle.
    Good point, but the fact that people get tripped up on them is still there, because it's a lot the same situation.

    You're welcome Gil.

  8. #8
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    According to Bryan Garner:


  9. #9
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Lol. English is such a dynamic language, isn't it? Bad means good, presently can mean now or later, and anymore can mean just about anything the speaker wants it to mean. Thanks for the reference!

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