If you have two sets of sheets, and you have used one and the guest has used the other, do you say
I don't have any more clean sheets.
What is the difference between this expression and " I do not have clean sheets any more?"
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If you have two sets of sheets, and you have used one and the guest has used the other, do you say I don't have any more clean sheets.

Yes, that's good.
What is the difference between this expression and " I do not have clean sheets any more?"

When "any more" comes before a noun, it means that there used to be (or whatever the verb may be) some but now there are none.

When "any more" is used at the end of a sentence, it adds a meaning of "no longer" to the whole sentence.
I won't eat apples any more
- I won't eat apples in the future
I won't eat any more apples
- I've eaten some apples but I will not eat more apples.

David
==
If you have two sets of sheets, and you have used one and the guest has used the other, do ... more clean sheets. What is the difference between this expression and " I do not have clean sheets any more?"

Does it make it any clearer if I switch it to:
Joe wants a piece of string. Mary has some and Joe takes one. He looks at it and asks here, "Do you have any longer string?"

Susan needs some string. She looks in the hall closet. Her husband says, "I don't keep string there any longer."
In the first of each of these pairs, "any," "more" and "longer" describe the sheets or the string.
In the second, "any more/anymore" and "any longer" are idiomatic expressons that mean something like "now, as contrasted with the past." "Anymore" is usually spelled as a single word, "any longer" is not, but there's no striking reason for the spelling difference.

Best wishes Donna Richoux
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If you just hear,
I can't find any more clean sheets.
do you sometimes possibly imagine that that person tries to say that he can't find any extra sheets?
In the second, "any more/anymore" and "any longer" are idiomatic expressons that mean something like "now, as contrasted with the past." "Anymore" is usually spelled as a single word, "any longer" is not, but there's no striking reason for the spelling difference.

There is a small war underway in a French/English newsgroup about this. It's my view that the single word "anymore" doesn't exist in UK English, but there are dictionaries which maintain this is an acceptable alternative to "any more".

David
==
If you just hear, I can't find any more clean sheets. do you sometimes possibly imagine that that person tries to say that he can't find any extra sheets?

I'm not quite sure what you are asking. The sentence indicates that the person has some clean sheets, or has in the past found some clean sheets, but now there are no clean sheets to be found.

David
==
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In the second, "any more/anymore" and "any longer" are idiomatic ... not, but there's no striking reason for the spelling difference.

There is a small war underway in a French/English newsgroup about this. It's my view that the single word "anymore" doesn't exist in UK English, but there are dictionaries which maintain this is an acceptable alternative to "any more".

I'd say that there's a general principle in the development of the language whereby short phrases whose individual words don't bear their usual interpretation are turned into single words. This produces quite remarkable words like "inasmuch".
This is certainly happening with "any more". Not in cases like "Would you like any more sugar?", but certainly in "I don't like sugar anymore."
It's something we should welcome and encourage, inasmuch as it makes the language more regular.
Matti
In the second, "any more/anymore" and "any longer" are idiomatic ... not, but there's no striking reason for the spelling difference.

There is a small war underway in a French/English newsgroup about this. It's my view that the single word "anymore" doesn't exist in UK English, but there are dictionaries which maintain this is an acceptable alternative to "any more".

Merriam-Webster, which is of course a US company, has this usage note:

Although both anymore and any more are found in
written use, in the 20th century anymore is the more common styling. Anymore is regularly used in
negative , interrogative , and conditional contexts and in certain positive constructions . In many
regions of the U.S. the use of anymore in sense 2 is quite common in positive constructions, especially in speech . The positive use appears to have been of Midland origin, but it is now reported to be
widespread in all speech areas of the U.S. except
New England.

Best Donna Richoux
In the second, "any more/anymore" and "any longer" are idiomatic ... not, but there's no striking reason for the spelling difference.

There is a small war underway in a French/English newsgroup about this. It's my view that the single word "anymore" doesn't exist in UK English, but there are dictionaries which maintain this is an acceptable alternative to "any more". David ==

On the subject of the use of "anymore" in American English, you might direct members of that newsgroup to a French-language post I made on the subject in the newsgroup fr.lettres.langue.anglaise :
See
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=usf1nbl9647r21%40corp.supernews.com&oe=UTF-8&output=gplain

or
http://tinyurl.com/wzuw
In the post I cite a usage note from the Encarta online dictionary, at

http://tinyurl.com/2g02
in which it is pointed out that "anymore" is also a standard usage in South African English.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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