“Everyday” vs. “Every Day”: Here’s When to Use Each

"Every day" and "everyday" are easily confused because they deal with the same concepts. But there are some key differences between the two.

Every day, you wake up, hop in the shower, get dressed, and drive to work. Today, tired of your same everyday breakfast of oatmeal and a banana, you order a bacon, egg, and cheese instead. These sentences exhibit the proper usage of both “every day” and “everyday.” 

But using them correctly can be easier said than done. In fact, “every day” is one of the pairs of words that people combine into one, even when they shouldn’t. “Everyday” is a word, but people often substitute it for “every day.” “Everyday” vs. “every day” have their own unique usages and are different parts of speech. If you’re already confused, read up on these other confusing rules in the grammar world. Here’s a breakdown of the difference between the two.

What does “every day” mean?

“Every day” is an adverbial phrase, answering the question of “when/how often?” “Day” is a noun, and “every” is the adjective that modifies it. “Every day” refers to something that happens on a daily basis. For example, “Jimbo wakes up every day at 7 a.m.” 

What does “everyday” mean?

“Everyday,” as one word, is an adjective. “Everyday” describes something which is standard, commonplace, or habitual. You may say that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an everyday meal—but that doesn’t necessarily make it literally something that you eat every day. Generally speaking, “everyday” is going to precede a noun in a sentence. For example, “His everyday headband was reliable, always keeping the sweat off his brow.” 

“Everyday” can also be a noun. Like the adjective version, it refers to ordinary or routine happenings. For instance, you could say, “I’m going to take a vacation to escape the everyday.”

Everyday vs. every day: A trick to help

There’s a reason so many people have trouble with this: It’s confusing. The usages are similar and will both frequently deal with concepts of routine. It can be easy to get them jumbled. Here are more grammatical errors even smart people make.

Luckily, though, there’s a handy way to know if you’re using the right one. If you can sub in “each day” and the sentence still makes sense, you’ll want to use “every day,” since “every day” is synonymous with “each day.” Just as there’s a space between “each” and “day,” there should be a space between “every” and “day” if you’re using it this way.

Of course, the difference between “everyday” vs. “every day” really only applies to writing; not so much when you’re speaking the words. It’s not like you’re going to time the pauses between “every” and “day” in your everyday conversations. Now that you know when to use “everyday” vs. “every day,” check out these other words and phrases you’ve probably been using wrong.

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