Saturday, August 21, 2010

Every Day vs. Everyday: Learn the Difference


After spying the headline on this article on eHow.com, Tony wants to know:
"Is everyday a compound word or two separate words?"

Thanks for bringing this up, Tony! "Everyday" and "every day" are both legitimate terms, but they are different parts of speech. A lot of people find this tricky because the meanings of both terms are quite similar. In this case, eHow.com should have used two words.

Where does eHow.com go wrong? The writer uses an adjective when he doesn't need one.

Quick rules: 
  • Use the adjective "everyday" when you are describing a noun as "ordinary" or "common." Losing my keys is an everyday occurrence. My sneakers are my everyday shoes.
  • Use "every day" when you mean "each day." I lose my keys every day. I wear my sneakers every day.

Try this: Replace the term with "each day." If it makes sense, you need "every day" and not "everyday." Is it safe to do push-ups each day? That works!

Correction: Is it Safe to Do Push-Ups Every Day?

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  3. We are losing the fight with this one. I see more and more uses of 'everyday' where it should be 'every day'. The BBC and other news sites, who you might think would know better, make this mistake just as often as anywhere else.

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