Everyday and Every day: How Should you use them correctly?

Everyday and every day are compound words that we think are similar but grammatically aren’t. In English, compound words, like anytime and any time, sometimes don’t have the same meaning as the individual words they comprise. It’s a situation where the entire joint words are different as opposed to being taken individually.

It might seem less of a deal but the space in the words everyday and every day makes these words absolutely different. Well, not with spelling but its entire meaning. In spoken English, you can hardly recognize its difference because they sound the same. Words like everyday and everyday, anytime and any time, apart and a part are called homophones in English. Meaning, they spell the same, sound the same but they have different meanings.

No wonder it’s so easy to confuse them with each other. In this article, we remedy your troubled minds by telling you how to use these words correctly.

What does each phrase mean and how do you use them?

How to use Everyday

Everyday and every day may sound the same but these two words have a whale of a difference. Grammatically, we use everyday is an adjective used to describe things that (1) occur every day, or (2) are ordinary or commonplace. The word everyday has a similar meaning to the words average, mundane, ordinary, and standard. For instance, the term everyday clothing refers to the ordinary clothes you wear on regular days, as opposed to outfits designated for special events or holidays as opposed to outfits designated for special events or holidays.

Sometimes, people use everyday as a noun—it’s a shorthand way of referring to their everyday routines.

For example:

Exercising has been a part of many people’s everyday life.
Shawn reads the Bible everyday.
Students wear their I.D. everyday.
The internet plays an important part in my everyday life as an online teacher.

How to use Every day

In the two-word phrase every day, the adjective every modifies the noun day, and the phrase usually functions adverbially. For example, every day you eat breakfast. You brush your teeth every day. Maybe you go for a walk every day. These are everyday activities.  Every day is a phrase that simply means “each day.”

Besides, if you pair every with any other word, it would mean each—every day means “each day”, just like “every word” means “each word.” There’s nothing more to it.

For example:

I feel sleepy after lunch every day.
The library is open every day.
I work every day except Saturday and Sunday.
Every day he attends the office punctually

Everyday Vs. Every day: The Bottom Line

Everyday and every day are the best examples of compound words in English. While these two words are oftentimes mixed up by ESL students, recognizing their differences are very easy.

One way to distinguish the difference between everyday and every day is to remember that every day you can easily replace “every” with “each.” So, if you’re talking about how often you wear green pants, you’d say “I wear green pants every day. It still makes sense if you replace “every” with “each”: I wear green pants each day.

On the other hand, you can’t say “I wear pants eachday” because there’s no such word.

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