Aid vs. Aide | Spelling Tips
  • 2-minute read
  • 11th September 2023

Aid vs. Aide | Spelling Tips

Aid and aide are both words that we use when we write about help. But they are used slightly differently. This post will help you understand when to use aid and when to use aide.


Aid can be used as a noun (a naming word) and as a verb (an action word).

Aid Used as a Noun

As a noun, aid means help or the means by which help is given .

Here are some examples of aid used as a noun in a sentence.

I went to his aid when he fell over.

My cane is a great aid when I walk over uneven ground.

 The nurse offered first aid to the injured woman.

Bob Geldof formed Band Aid in 1984 to raise money for Ethiopian famine relief.

There are several synonyms for aid, including:







Aid Used as a Verb

As a verb, aid expresses the act of helping. The synonyms we listed above can also act as synonyms for aid as a verb.

To assist

To help

To support

To back

To encourage

To guide

Here are some examples of aid used as a verb in a sentence.

I aided him when he fell over.

My cane aids me when I walk over uneven ground.

 A nurse will aid any injured person.

Bob Geldof formed Band Aid in 1984 and aided Ethiopian famine relief.


 Aide is only used as a noun, and it has three main meanings.

1 An assistant to an important person, especially to a political leader

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The presidential aides accompanied the president on her campaign tour.

A former aide to the country’s leader sold his story to the newspapers.

2 A shortened form of aide-de-camp, who is a high-ranking military officer

Major John Poston was the Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Montgomery.

The general summoned his aide-de-camp to a briefing before the battle.

3 A person employed as an assistant or auxiliary (mainly in American English)

The nurse’s aide changed the sheets on the patient’s bed.

James is working as an aide to Mr. Proctor, an elderly man who needs care at home.


Aid and aide sound exactly the same and have similar meanings but can’t always be used interchangeably.

Aid used as a noun means help, support, or assistance.

Aid used as a verb means to help, to support, to assist, and it expresses the action of helping.

Aide is the name (noun) we give to an important person’s assistant, to a high-ranking military officer, or to someone employed as an assistant or auxiliary, particularly in the health sector in the United States.


What is the term for words that sound the same but are spelled differently, such as aid and aide?

Those are called homophones. You can read more about them here.

 How can I be sure that I’ve used aid and aide correctly?

Our experts will be happy to come to your aid and check your writing for you!

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