Difference between anyway or anyways

When it comes to English grammar, both anyway and anyways serve as adverbs, but their usage and acceptance in formal writing differ significantly. Anyway is the standard form, widely accepted in both written and spoken English across various contexts. On the other hand, anyways is considered informal, often used in spoken English and dialects, but it’s less common in formal writing.

Quick Facts Table

AcceptanceFormal and informal contextsMostly informal contexts
UsageConjunction, transitionConjunction, transition (informal)
PrevalenceGlobally acceptedMore common in American English
Recommended UseIn writing and formal speechIn casual conversation

Difference Between Anyway and Anyways

Definition of Anyway

Anyway is an adverb that means "regardless" or "in any case." It is used to change the subject, return to an earlier subject, or conclude a statement. It's the universally accepted form in English.

Definition of Anyways

Anyways is an informal variant of anyway. It carries the same meaning and is used in the same contexts but is less formal and more common in spoken language, especially in American English.

Origin of Anyway

Anyway originated from Middle English phrases that combined “any” with “way” to create meanings involving “in any manner” or “in any direction.”

Origin of Anyways

Anyways evolved as a colloquial or dialectal form, particularly in American English. It likely developed from the addition of an -s to anyway, a common process in English to create adverbial forms, though here it’s more of a regional or informal variation rather than a grammatical rule.


  • Anyway: /ˈɛniweɪ/
  • Anyways: /ˈɛniweɪz/

Comparing Anyway and Anyways

The main difference between anyway and anyways lies in their formality and usage. Anyway is appropriate for all contexts, including academic and professional writing. In contrast, anyways is casual, best reserved for conversational settings.

Comparison Table

FormalityFormal and informalInformal
Usage ContextWriting, speeches, formal discussionsCasual conversations, informal writings
Global AcceptanceHighly acceptedAccepted in informal settings, especially in the US

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Anyway in Sentences

  1. Anyway, let’s get back to the main topic.
    • Here, anyway is used to redirect the conversation to a previous subject.
  2. I didn’t expect you to agree, but I asked anyway.
    • Shows anyway being used to indicate action despite expectations.
  3. Anyway, it doesn’t matter now.
    • Used to conclude a discussion or indicate irrelevance of the preceding argument.
  4. She knew it was a long shot; anyway, she had to try.
    • Indicates proceeding despite the odds.
  5. Anyway, how was your day?
    • Transitioning to a new subject in conversation.

Use of Anyways in Sentences

  1. Anyways, I think we should change the subject.
    • Informally shifts the conversation.
  2. Anyways, it was just an idea.
    • Casually dismisses the previous statement.
  3. So, anyways, what are you doing this weekend?
    • Informal conversation starter or change in topic.
  4. Anyways, I didn’t really mind the delay.
    • Expresses indifference in a casual manner.
  5. Anyways, that’s what happened.
    • Concludes a story or explanation informally.


While anyway and anyways can be used interchangeably in casual conversation, anyway is the preferred choice in formal writing and speaking. Understanding the difference in formality and usage can help in choosing the right word for the context.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “anyways” grammatically incorrect?
    • Anyways is not grammatically incorrect but is considered informal. It’s best used in casual conversations.
  • Can “anyway” and “anyways” be used at the beginning of a sentence?
    • Yes, both can be used to start a sentence, though anyway is more versatile and accepted in all types of discourse.
  • Are there contexts where “anyways” should be avoided?
    • Anyways should be avoided in formal writing and professional settings.
  • Do “anyway” and “anyways” have the same meaning?
    • Yes, they share the same meaning but differ in formality and usage.
  • Is “anyways” accepted in British English?
    • Anyways is less common in British English and is seen as an Americanism. Anyway is preferred in formal British English.

Leave a Comment