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Anywhere vs. Everywhere vs. Nowhere vs. Somewhere (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, and somewhere with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

There are times when I want to get out and about, but I don't have a specific destination in mind. I feel like I could go somewhere that could be anywhere, and everywhere I could possibly go can get overwhelming and lead me to go nowhere after all. And then when I stay home, there are times when I see these terms misused.

(Relying on Your Inner Compass to Guide Your Writing.)

So let's look at the differences between anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, and somewhere and when to use each whether we're staying in or going out.

Anywhere vs. Everywhere vs. Nowhere vs. Somewhere (Grammar Rules)

Anywhere vs. Everywhere vs. Nowhere vs. Somewhere

Anywhere is a noun that refers to any place (as opposed to a specific place). Anywhere can also be used as an adverb to indicate roughly the same thing.

Everywhere, on the other hand, is an adverb that indicates someone or something is in every place or part of something.

(6 Tips for Developing an Exciting Fantasy Adventure Premise.)

Nowhere is an adverb that indicates someone or something is in no place or part of something. As a noun, nowhere is a place that doesn't exist.

Finally, somewhere is a noun that refers to an unnamed or unspecified location. As an adverb, somewhere has a few meanings, including in the proximity of, moving to a place of progress, and/or in, at, from, or to a place unnamed or unspecified.

Make sense?

Here are a few examples of anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, and somewhere:

Correct: He could be anywhere, because he doesn't care where he goes.
Incorrect: He could be everywhere, because he doesn't care where he goes.
Incorrect: He could be nowhere, because he doesn't care where he goes.
Incorrect: He could be somewhere, because he doesn't care where he goes. (Note: This could be technically correct, but it's not the best word for this sentence.)

Correct: She scattered the marbles everywhere so that you couldn't walk without stepping on one.
Incorrect: She scattered the marbles anywhere so that you couldn't walk without stepping on one.
Incorrect: She scattered the marbles nowhere so that you couldn't walk without stepping on one.
Incorrect: She scattered the marbles somewhere so that you couldn't walk without stepping on one.

Correct: There's nowhere else to go at the end of that alley.
Incorrect: There's anywhere else to go at the end of that alley.
Incorrect: There's everywhere else to go at the end of that alley.
Incorrect: There's somewhere else to go at the end of that alley.

Correct: We met somewhere between the park and the library.
Incorrect: We met anywhere between the park and the library.
Incorrect: We met everywhere between the park and the library.
Incorrect: We met nowhere between the park and the library.

If you take a moment to think on them, these terms are easy to untangle: Anywhere can happen "any" place; everywhere has to be "every" place; nowhere is "no" place; and somewhere is "some" place. So if you decide to go on a spontaneous trip, you may decide to go anywhere that's somewhere or everywhere, but you'll probably stay home if you want to go nowhere.

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Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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