Anything is a word used instead of something in negatives and questions. It is used to ask whether even a small amount of something exists or is available.
- She doesn’t know anything about gadgets.
- He never buys anything useful.
Anything is also used when it is not important to say exactly which thing, idea or action you are referring to.
- You can do anything you want.
- I will do anything for my kids.
Hardly anything has a similar meaning to nothing.
- You ate hardly anything.
- As the lights were out, I could see hardly anything at all.
- Would you like to order anything else, Sir?
- Have you got anything else to say?
Almost anything / just about anything
These expressions are used to emphasize anything.
- He will do just about anything for his family.
- He will eat almost anything.
Anything can be used with numbers to show that you are not giving the exact figure.
- A good laptop can cost anything from $700 to $1200.
- She is a well-known consultant. You may have to wait anything between four and six months for an appointment.
Phrases with anything
This expression is used to emphasize the fact that a particular word does not describe the exact nature of a person or situation.
- She was anything but cooperative. (= She wasn’t cooperative at all.)
- I was anything but interested in the offer. (= I was not at all interested in the offer.)
- They were anything but amused. (= They weren’t amused at all.)
Anything for a quiet life
This expression is used for saying that you let someone do something because you don’t want to get into an argument with them.
- Peter often brings his friends over and although I don’t like it, I usually keep mum. Anything for a quiet life.