Here is a list of idiomatic expressions using the word anything. Each expression / phrase is followed by its meaning and example sentences.
This expression is used for saying that any type of behaviour is allowed in a particular situation.
- We give enough freedom for our kids, but that doesn’t mean that anything goes.
As … as anything
This expression is used with adjectives or adverbs. If you are as excited as anything, you are extremely excited.
- She was as nervous as anything.
As much as anything / as much as anything else
This expression means no less than anything else.
- You need to look at durability and mileage as much as anything (else) while buying a car. (= Factors like durability and mileage are as important as anything else.)
- While choosing a bride, you need to consider her character and upbringing as much as anything.
Like anything means very much. This expression is mainly used as an intensifier.
- She worked like anything to finish that assignment in time. (= She worked really hard to finish that assignment in time.)
Not anything like / near
If something is not anything like, it is quite different. If something is not anything near, it is nowhere near.
- Her character isn’t anything like her sister’s.
- They didn’t get anything near the price they were asking for.
Used for referring to other things of the same type.
- Would you like a coffee or anything? (= Would you like a coffee or something similar?)
This expression is used to suggest that a situation may not have changed but if there is any change or difference, then that has got to be what you have mentioned.
- Many studies have suggested that the world is getting warmer but our statistics show that, if anything, the average temperatures are falling. (= The temperatures might have remained the same but if there is a change, they are falling not increasing.)
- Her diet doesn’t seem to have helped her. If anything, she now looks fatter than she did before.
- I’m not angry. If anything, I feel a little disappointed.