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Anyway, Anyways, and Any Way

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Which word is it, anyway? Anyway is a common adverb used to mean in any case, while any way is an adjective-noun pair that means whichever path. Anyways is the very informal form of anyway. It never appears in formal writing, and its only real use is to simulate the spoken word in lines of dialogue.

Anyway

Anyway, used as an adverb, suggests a disregard for factors that stand in the way of an argument or purpose. For example, “I felt tired, but decided to go to the party anyway.” Here, it’s clear that anyway appears in place of regardless or despite what came before.

Any Way

Any way (often confused with anyway) has a subtly different meaning. It means means regardless of the path chosen or however possible. For example, if you were to say “I’d be happy to help you in any way I can,” it would mean you were offering to help someone however it was possible to do so. Conversely, “You can go any way you want,” means that a variety of physical paths are available for you to choose from.

Anyways

Anyways is a verbal corruption of anyway. You shouldn’t confuse it with any ways (the plural form of any way), which has a valid purpose in some writing. Anyways is incorrect because anyway is an adverb, and in general, adverbs don’t have plural forms in the way that nouns do. By far the most common use of anyways is in informal dialogue.

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