Everyday vs. Every Day

You have probably seen the word everyday and the phrase every day used interchangeably. You might have wondered which is correct in a sentence, as well as how you can use it more accurately. We’ll help you answer those questions.

Everyday vs. Every Day: The Basics

The single word everyday is an adjective describing an item or event (i.e., a noun) as commonplace.

Examples
Breathing is an everyday occurrence for all living things.
I have a pair of everyday sneakers I wear when doing yard work.
That restaurant has an everyday friendliness that makes you feel at home.

Every day (two words) is often used as an adverbial phrase meaning “each day.” In this context, it does not describe a noun but rather modifies a verb, gerund, or infinitive by identifying an action’s frequency.

Examples
I sleep (verb) eight hours every day so I feel more rested.
Lifting weights (gerund phrase) every day can help to build bigger muscles.
They say to study (infinitive) every day if you want to learn a new language.

You’ll note that in the second set of examples, every day refers to things that happen repeatedly.

Every day also can be used as a noun phrase.

Example
Every day is a good day when you have the right attitude.
Let’s start by making every day as special as we can.

One Word or Two: A Technique to Remember

Because everyday and every day resemble each other so closely, you can apply a simple technique to help differentiate most of their uses. If ever in doubt, ask yourself which word would make a better substitute: common or always? If the answer is common, use one word. If it’s always, use two words.

Examples
My everyday (common) scarf is frayed but comfortable.
I get tired of having to shovel snow from my driveway every day (always).

 

Pop Quiz

Using what you’ve learned in this article, choose the correct word or phrase in each sentence.

  1. Working out [everyday/every day] has given me a ton of energy lately.
  2. My meal was fantastic. That wasn’t an [everyday/every day] dining experience.
  3. I would love to visit the park more, but my boss has me working overtime almost [everyday/every day].
  4. I want [everyday/every day] to be as productive as we can make it.
  5. Elena’s [everyday/every day] coat is fine, but she wanted to wear something special for her anniversary.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

  1. Working out every day has given me a ton of energy lately.
  2. My meal was fantastic. That wasn’t an everyday dining experience.
  3. I would love to visit the park more, but my boss has me working overtime almost every day.
  4. I want every day to be as productive as we can make it.
  5. Elena’s everyday coat is fine, but she wanted to wear something special for her anniversary.

 

Come Back for More Knowledge of American English

Looking to strengthen your mastery of grammar in American English? Visit our blog again soon or leave a though or comment below. You might inspire a future post!

 


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