everyday vs every day: how not to be confused

Confusing Words and Expressions, Lest We Forget, Parts of Speech

‘Everyday’ and ‘every day’ are both correct but used in different contexts, and research shows some of us confuse them.

This is what we should know:

every day

This is a phrase that means each day. Here, every and day are two separate words.

Examples:

  1. We saw each other every day for six years.
  2. Maria will do the dishes every day for the next three weeks.

Just think of every as an adjective modifying the noun day. Similar phrases are: every man, every house, every phone, every step. You can replace every with each in each of these examples.

 

everyday

This is a single word and it’s an adjective. It simply means ordinary, usual, typical, common, daily, etc. 

Examples:

  1. It’s an everyday event.
  2. He doesn’t look like your everyday lawyer in that funny suit.

If you’re confused about when to use this word, replace it with an adjective such as good (It’s a good/an everyday event) and you’re on track if it’s correct.

Now, let’s use every day and everyday together:

  1. Every day, he goes shopping for his everyday needs.
  2. It’s an everyday occurrence, so we look out for more every day.

 

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