Word Choice: Every Day vs. Everyday
  • 2-minute read
  • 17th September 2018

Word Choice: Every Day vs. Everyday

What difference can one little space make? With the terms “every day” and “everyday,” the answer is quite a big one! But what exactly is the distinction here? And how do you use these terms? Check out our guide to “every day” and “everyday” to make sure you work is always error free.

Every Day (On a Daily Basis)

Written as two words with a space between, “every day” is an adverbial phrase meaning “on a daily basis.” This means we use it to describe an action that happens daily. For instance:

We go bowling every day.

Here, “every day” modifies the verb phrase “go bowling” to show us how often it happens. The most important thing here, though, is that the two-word phrase “every day” applies to actions.

Strike!
(Photo: skeeze)

Everyday (Routine or Mundane)

Written as a single word, “everyday” is an adjective meaning “routine,” “normal,” or “mundane.” We can therefore use it to describe something that is for daily use or part of a regular routine:

I’ll wear my everyday clothes now and get changed later for the party.

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This sense of “everyday” is used to contrast with something designed for special occasions. It doesn’t, however, necessarily mean that the speaker wears the exact same clothes every single day.

And although this term is commonly used for clothing, it can be applied to anything that is part of a regular routine or day-to-day practice (e.g., a store might offer “everyday prices”). Most crucial here, though, is that “everyday” should only be used to modify a noun (i.e., a thing), not a verb.

Every Day or Everyday?

The difference here is subtle, so it pays to be careful when using either “every day” or “everyday.” The key is that “every day” is an adverbial phrase, so it only applies to actions. The single-word term “everyday,” meanwhile, is an adjective and therefore used to modify nouns. Remember:

Every day (adverbial phrase) = On a daily basis

Everyday (adjective) = Routine or mundane

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