It’s nice when things turn out the way you want. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic.
Sometimes, there are things you have to do even if circumstances are less than ideal.
When you find yourself needing a phrase to describe that feeling, just reach for “in any case.”
How do you use “in any case” in a sentence?
The phrase “in any case” is used to refer to something that remains true no matter the circumstances. Alternatively, it can be used to return to the main point after a digression. “In any case” can appear at the beginning, end or middle of a sentence and is set aside by one or more commas.
The meaning of “in any case”
The phrase “in any case” implies that what has just been said or written does not change the truth value of a statement. The phrase can also be used to return to the main point of a sentence after a digression.
If you see the phrase used in a sentence, you can think of it as a near-synonym of “regardless” or “anyway.”
The grammar behind “in any case”
The main part of “in any case” is the noun “case,” meaning situation or circumstance.
The word “any” means that it makes no difference which case is being referred to, while the word “in” is a preposition used to link the other two words to the rest of the sentence.
Overall, “in any case” suggests that no matter which of multiple circumstances (“cases”) are true, the part of the sentence linked by the word “in” is true regardless.
Grammatically, “in any case” can be placed at any point in a sentence. Although its overall meaning does not change, depending on where it is placed it can sometimes refer to the part of the sentence appearing before or after it.
For this reason, it’s important to pay attention when you see “in any case” in a sentence. Otherwise, you might misinterpret what the sentence is saying.
How to use “in any case” at the start of a sentence
When placed at the beginning of a sentence, “in any case” should always be followed by a comma. That’s because it serves as an introductory phrase, designed to inform the reader about the meaning of the sentence’s main clause.
In any sentence which begins with “in any case,” the main clause, or the part of the sentence which follows the phrase, is the thing that will happen regardless of which case is true.
Alternatively, if “in any case” is being used to return to the main point after a digression, that point will be contained in the main clause of the sentence.
In both cases, the digression or specific situation will have been described in a previous sentence, most likely the sentence immediately preceding the one that begins with “in any case.”
Here, the first sentence shows the “case” under discussion. The phrase “in any case” is used to show that no matter how cold it was the speaker still had to go to work.
This is an example of “in any case” being used to return to the main point of a discussion after a digression. The second and third sentences are an aside that don’t affect the story being told.
When “in any case” appears at the beginning of the fourth sentence, it suggests that the speaker is going to get back to their main point.
How to use “in any case” at the end of a sentence
The grammar for using “in any case” at the end of a sentence is also simple. Just place a comma in front of the phrase and end the sentence after it.
However, when this phrase appears at the end of the sentence it refers to the clause it follows. This may seem backwards, but the actual grammar hasn’t changed. The location of the main clause and “in any case” is just inverted.
Both of these example sentences show “in any case” appearing at the end of a sentence. The phrase modifies what comes before the comma in each.
How to use “in any case” in the middle of a sentence
There are various reasons that “in any case” might appear in the middle of a sentence instead of at the beginning or end of one.
Usually, these reasons have to do with a more complex sentence structure rather than specific grammatical patterns or any change in meaning. To determine whether “in any case” refers to the clause before or after the phrase, you will have to use context clues and figure out the main clause.
No matter the reason, the grammar is simple. Just like you would with any other nonessential clause, you need to put a comma in front of and after “in any case.”
In this example, “in any case” is set aside by commas to show that it is nonessential information. The main clause in this sentence is “the food was delicious,” meaning that this is the clause modified by the phrase.
In this sentence, the main clause “I had to get to work” appears after the phrase. However, it is still what “in any case” modifies.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.