Hi there, What's the difference between 'anyone' and 'everyone' in the following sentences?


1- I will back anyone/everyone who tries to fight this evil man.

2- Anyone/everyone who has given birth to a baby knows how much pain it takes to give birth to a baby.

Original Post

Hi, Subhajit,

The difference is that, with "everyone," the sentences presuppose that there are people matching the description in the context. With "anyone," there is no such presupposition. The sentences have an abstract conditional meaning -- cf.:

1a. If anyone tries to back this man, I will back him or her.

An "if"-paraphrase doesn't work well with the "anyone" edition of (2). The meaning with "anyone" does, however, make the sentence more universal, applying also to people who have not yet given birth to a baby but who may.

The end of (2) doesn't really work. It would be better to use "involves" instead of "takes" and to omit the infinitival: "Anyone who has given birth to a baby knows how much pain it involves." Or: "knows how painful it is." ♣

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