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Is it Anyways or Anyway?

Anyway is correct, without the -s. Anyways is considered incorrect and improper English (don't spell anyways with an -s).



What’s correct “anyway” or “anyways”?

The adverb anyway is incredibly common, and perhaps a little overused in English. The question is, what’s the difference between anyway vs anyways, anyway? Does anyway have various meanings associated with it? Keep reading to find out.

Anyway is correct with no –s attached to the end. The general consensus is that anyways (with an -s at the end) is informal and incorrect English.

Be grateful for the simplicity of this lesson in English grammar—most times there are exceptions to the rule. To stick to proper grammar, write anyway sans s.

*side-note: sans is Latin for “without.” double-side-note: Try not to be that person that goes around correcting everyone’s grammar—even if you are a regular at Gflex and can flex it (nobody wants to be around that person … even if they are right.)

What does anyway mean, anyway?

Anyway, pronounced en-ee-way, is an adverb that means “despite of something,” or ‘in any case.’

1. ‘Even if the drug is banned, a lot of people will go on using it anyway.’

2. ‘Paris is expensive, but many people would like to vacation there, anyway.’

In the sentences above, anyway is similar in definition to ‘anyhow,’ ‘either way,’ or ‘in any case.’

How to use anyway

Probably the most common use and understanding of the adverb anyway is described above, which means something similar to ‘despite’ or ‘anyhow’. Anyway is a common word with various uses and understandings. See the following various use cases in the sentences below. In everyday conversation, anyway can be used as a way to change topics, or to imply that what was said isn’t important, or worth further consideration. In this context, it’s similar to ‘whatever’ or ‘never mind’.

I don’t understand politics, and anyway I’m not really interested.

Anyway can be used to end a conversation, or change topics to something else:

Anyway, as I was saying, things really have started to improve.

Sometimes, anyway is used to pose a question, as in, ‘What’s the temperature outside, anyway?’ In this latter use case, anyway is meant similarly to ‘anyhow’.

What does ‘any way’ mean?

Any way written as two separate words carries a slightly different meaning from anyway as a single word and adverb. As two words, any way is a phrase that contains an adjective and a noun.Here, ‘any way’ is comparable with ‘in any manner’, ‘by any means’ or ‘whichever way.’ In other words, people may use ‘any way’ as two words to communicate that they’re flexible and not concerned with how something gets done, or how someone goes about doing something.

1. ‘You can cook dinner any way you like.’

2. ‘To get students to read, teachers often bribe them any way they can.’

3. ‘I’d be happy to help you in any way I can.’

Examples of sentences with anyway:

The following sentences demonstrate the correct use of anyway as an adverb:

1. No one expected house prices to fall, but anyway that’s exactly what happened.

2. “What are you doing here, anyway?”

3. “I told you, it’s all right, and anyway, it was my fault”

4. Poor John always enjoyed a drink. Anyway, he died last year.

5. Whether you like it or not, I’m going anyway.

6. Nobody invited Miss Honey to sit down so she sat down anyway.

7. It was snowing hard, but we drove to the play anyway.

8. Most people already have their dogs on leashes, but it’s good to have the leash law anyway.

9. Anyway, there is another factor to consider”

10. I might not have made the chess team, but I didn’t have time for chess anyway.

11. It didn’t work in the end, but thanks anyway.

12. ‘Sorry about the stain.’ ‘Don’t worry, I was going to have it cleaned anyway.’

13. Anyway, as I was saying, things really have started to improve.

14. It was all Kevin’s fault. That’s what I think anyway.

15. Of course, there’s a lot more crime. Anyway, what do you expect with such high unemployment?

Examples of sentences with any way

The following sentences demonstrate the correct use of any way as a two word phrase:

1. This is not a criticism in any way, shape, or form.

2. Finish the job any way you choose.

3. Get some sunshine any way you can this week, because next week will be cloudy with rain showers.

Is anyway considered rude?

Like the majority words, this will depend on the context in which the word is used and/or spoken. There is nothing inherently rude or disparaging about the word anyway in itself. Anyways, with the s at the end, is considered informal and conversational, since it’s not technically grammatically correct English. This doesn’t make it rude to use, just incorrect.

Synonyms for anyway

These words and phrases share a similar meaning with anyway, and can be written in the same or similar contexts:

  • Anyhow
  • Whatever
  • Regardless
  • Either way
  • In any case
  • In any event
  • At any rate
  • Just the same
  • Nonetheless
  • Nevertheless
  • Whenever
  • Despite of
  • In spite of
  • Needless to say

Origin of anyway

The single compound anyway (any + way) was common in the 1830s. This was brought down from the two words, any way, since the 1560s; meaning, ‘in any manner’.

In review

To make sure to write using correct grammar and spelling, stick to ‘anyway’. Anyways is an extremely common grammar and spelling error that is almost a casualism. Casualisms are words that are technically incorrect but due to widespread usage overtime have become accepted, informally. An example is everytime, which technically should always be two words.)

Sources

  1. Synonyms for anyway
  2. Definitions of the adverb anyway
  3. Anyway as two words
  4. Origin of anyway
  5. Meanings of anyway and sentence examples

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