Any versus At All (Is your friend any better at all?)

Please read:

  1. Is your friend any better at all?
  2. Is your friend any better?
  3. Is your friend better at all?

In the dictionary, I see any = at all.
So, I think only (2) and (3) are correct. But my teacher said (1) is also correct.

Do you think all these 3 sentences have the same meaning?
If yes, do you think either any or at all in (1) is redundant? If not so, please explain me why any and at all stand together in (1)?
If not please tell me the difference in meaning btw them.


Hi Quoc

Your teacher is right, all three are correct and acceptable.
Actually 1 or 2 are both better than 3.
You could also say: “at all better”

There is a subtle difference in that “at all” implies “even a little bit”.

There is also an emotional implication. One might ask " . .any better at all" if there was an expectation that there should be some improvement; or if you wanted to express concern or offer support.