Almost every day, I see someone use “everyday” in a sentence when they mean “every day.” Mixing up “everyday” and “every day” is one of the most common grammatical errors.
Newsflash: “Every day” does NOT mean the same thing as “everyday”! If you find yourself writing either one of them, stop, breathe, and read the next section of this article.
Every Day vs. Everyday
What do these words mean?
“Every day” (2 words) means “happening or occurring each day.”
The compound word “everyday” is an adjective meaning “of or pertaining to every day”; “commonplace” or “regular.”
Given these definitions, let’s look at some examples of proper use:
- I walk to work every day.
- I wear my everyday shoes to walk to work; I change to my Manolo Blahniks upon arrival.
- It has snowed every day for the past week.
- Snow is an everyday event during Wisconsin winters.
- I wish I could eat chocolate all day every day!
- Some chocolate sure would spice up this everyday chili.
A Trick to Remember Whether to Use Everyday or Every Day
How will you remember the difference between “every day” and “everyday”? My simple trick is to add the word “single” between “every” and “day;” if it makes sense to insert this word, then the words must be separated by a space in place of the word “single.” If inserting “single” does not work, you’re in the land of the adjective “everyday.” Let’s try it with the examples here:
- I walk to work every single day. (Makes sense so it’s 2 words)
- I wear my every single day shoes to walk to work. (Doesn’t make sense so it’s 1 word)
- It has snowed every single day for the past week. (Makes sense so it’s 2 words)
- Snow is an every single day event during Wisconsin winters. (Doesn’t make sense so it’s 1 word)
I’ll leave you to test the chocolate chili examples. I promise they work.
Everyday Examples I See Every Day
Now let’s take a look at some common ways people misuse the word “everyday.” I’ll use 3 examples from LinkedIn.
- In an email I received from a LinkedIn marketing expert, the following phrase appeared: “Great discussions and tips are taking place everyday with over 10,000 members.”There are actually two problems with this sentence. One is that tips do not take place, only discussions do; you would not say “Great tips are taking place.” The other is that everyday is the adjective meaning commonplace. The author meant that discussions are taking place every single day. Therefore the correct usage would be “every day” (2 words).
- A LinkedIn discussion title came across one of my groups: “Fast way to make money everyday.” Again, this writer means “every single day” so the correct way to express his idea would be “Fast way to make money every day.”
- Here’s an example from a comment on one of my postings: “You learn something new everyday.” Do you see the error? I hope you are now highly trained in the distinction between “every day” and “everyday”! Please pass this wisdom on to someone who will benefit from it today and every day.
Do you have other writing or grammar questions? Contact The Essay Expert for help with choosing exactly the right words.