This grammar pitfall is similar to other word pairs that involves single and compound words such as anyway/any way. Despite the fact that they sound the same, the meanings and the parts of speech are different. That fact alone can provide the best way to use everyday vs every day correctly.
At a Glance
- Everyday means typical or commonplace
- Every day means each single day
Everyday is an adjective that modifies something in a sentence whether it’s a person, object or an intangible concept. It’s essential to understand that bit because it acts as a reminder of how to use it in a sentence or clause.
Everyday has several meanings. It can mean something that is a part of daily life such getting up. It can also refer to something ordinary like another typical workday as opposed to special occasion. You can use it describe something that occurs every day such as an everyday walk in the park.
- He wore his everyday shirt to the ball game.
- It was just an everyday thing for her to get up at 5 a.m. to jog no matter what the weather.
- She set the table with her fine china instead of the everyday plates.
Using Every Day
Unlike everyday, every day has one specific meaning. It means literally something that occurs every single day. It isn’t an adjective, but rather a phrase that describes an event or thing.
- His dog waited patiently every day for him to return from his vacation.
- She promised to write him every day while he was gone.
- I begin every day with a cup of coffee and a chocolate donut
Tips for Using Everyday and Every Day
Everyday vs every day may confuse some because you can use the former as a noun too. In this case, it means a routine. You can say that you wear jeans for everyday. It’s your go-to clothes for an ordinary day ritual. Everyday entered the language early in the 14th century as the Middle English word, everydayes.
When deciding whether to use everyday vs every day, you should take a moment to consider the concept that you are trying to convey. Keep in mind the common definitions of daily, ordinary and commonplace. Think of whether you’re trying to describe something or if you’re trying to put a timestamp on it.
The grammatical structure of your sentence will also provide valuable clues to help you. An error will sound awkward too when you proofread it. Unlike many grammar mistakes, the spellchecker of your word processing software may not catch this one, so you need to pay attention.
As you reread your work, say everyday or every day out loud, emphasizing the meaning in your mind. You’ll find the error easy to detect once you put your writing in context.