Grammar 7 min read

Everyday vs. Every day: Here's how to Pick the Correct Word

Main Everyday vs. Every day Takeaways:

  • Both everyday and every day are correct, but they mean different things.
  • When it’s one word, everyday is an adjective. It describes something that is commonplace or ordinary.
  • When it’s two words, every day is the same as saying “each day”. It refers to something that happens daily.

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Is Everyday one or two Words?

If you’re trying to say that something is commonplace, then it’s one word. Opt for everyday. Conversely, if you’re trying to describe something that happens daily, then it’s two words. Go for every day. Here’s a quick trick to help you remember the difference and decide which word you need: If you can replace the word with the phrase “each day”, then you need the two-word version of every day. This one always refers to frequency.

He’s so handsome, he can throw on an everyday pair of jeans and look as good as he does in a three-piece suit.
Valentina wakes up at 6:30 am every day to walk her puppy before she heads to work.
everyday vs. every day: The word
The word “everyday” is an adjective. It describes something that is commonplace. On the other hand, the phrase “every day” is synonymous with “each day.” It refers to an event that happens daily.

Which is Correct: Everyday or Every day?

Both words are correct, but they are not interchangeable. On one hand, everyday is an adjective and means ordinary, average, or commonplace. On the other hand, every day is usually part of an adverbial phrase. It means daily or describes something you do as part of a daily routine.

Every day is a noun phrase that means “each day.”

In Seattle, it rains pretty much everyday.

Everyday functions as an adjective. It describes an action or item that’s commonplace or something that you do as a matter of habit.

In Seattle, rain is pretty much an everyday occurrence.

Everyday vs. Every day: Compound Word vs. Noun Phrase

If you’re struggling with choosing between everyday and every day, you’re not alone. Everyday vs. every day is just as confusing as a lot vs. alot and anytime vs. any time.

They look the same; they sound the same, so why aren’t they the same?

Visually, the only difference between these two words is a small space. This is what’s responsible for most of the confusion between everyday and every day.

However, grammatically, the difference is a lot larger. It’s the difference between a word and a phrase.

  • Everyday is compound word made up of two words.
  • Every day is not a compound word. Instead, it’s a simple phrase made up of two words.
Two scenes. Scene on the left shows a young man choosing a pair of plain yellow shirt and jeans over a set of coat, tie, and trousers for his everyday attire. The other scene shows the same young man doing one of his routines every day, brushing his teeth.
The word “everyday” refers to ordinary, usual, or unremarkable things. Meanwhile, the phrase “every day” means daily, day by day, or per diem.

Because I love food, I’ll use cheese and bread. Let’s make every the cheese and day the bread.

You can enjoy each food individually. You don’t have to eat together because they work just fine on their own. Similarly, every is a word that functions just fine on its own without day.

But, you can eat them together. Maybe as a quick snack or part of a cheese plate with other items like fruit and cold cuts. In the same way, the individual words every and day can work together to make the phrase every day as part of a sentence.

What’s more, when you meld cheese and bread together with heat, the combination creates something entirely different: a grilled cheese. This is more similar to fusing every and day together to form the compound word everyday.

Beyond Everyday: Other Compound Word Examples

For a non-food example, black and bird are two words that can stand alone. Or, you can put them together to form the word blackbird.

Watch Out! Some compound words require a hyphen, but everyday does not.
She couldn’t wait to ride the merry-go-round.

In each of these examples, the joined words create a different meaning compared to when the words were separated. The same idea applies when using everyday or every day.

Building on the concept of compound words, we see that “every” and “day” can indeed stand alone. But you can combine them into a single word with an entirely different meaning.

A boy picking a jar from the grocery shelf for everyday products.
Everyday is an adjective. It refers to an action or item that’s commonplace or something that you do as a matter of habit.

The Best Trick for When to use Which Word

The easiest way to keep things straight is to ask yourself whether you’re talking about each day or something commonplace or average.

So, if you can replace everyday or every day with “each day,” you know that you should go with the two-word option.

I have the same Caprese salad for lunch each day.
I have the same Caprese salad for lunch every day.
I have the same Caprese salad for lunch everyday.

As for everyday, remember that it’s an adjective. As such, it will almost always come before a noun. We use everyday to describe something ordinary. You can also swap it with its synonyms such as “regular,” “daily,” “familiar,” “conventional,” or “unremarkable.”

With two kids under the age of three, feeling tired is a common occurrence.
With two kids under the age of three, feeling tired is an everyday occurrence.
With two kids under the age of three, feeling tired is an every day occurrence.

Everyday vs. Every day: How to use Them in a Sentence

Examples of “Everyday” in a Sentence

Polly used her everyday dishes for dinner instead of her good china since there were no guests.
I’m so fed up with the neighbor’s dogs! Their insane barking is an everyday occurrence, and it’s driving me bonkers.
I reserve my high heels for date night and have comfy flats for everyday wear.
It’s not the big moments that matter, but rather the everyday interactions that can leave a lasting impact.
Monica has special soaps for important people and another set for everyday use.

Examples of “Every day” in a Sentence

Use every day when you’re referring to something that happens each day. You’re most likely going to use every day to talk about a daily occurrence. This may be something everyone frequently does, or it could be an action that’s a permanent part of your routine.

I get a fancy flavored coffee every day.
Sebastian wakes up at 6 am every day to get his workout in before breakfast.
It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice every day.
Every day is an opportunity to rethink your strategy and make your marketing count.

So remember: Everyday is an adjective that describes something ordinary, average, or mundane. The phrase every day is the same as “each day.” And the rest, as they say, is gravy.

Is Everyday Written Together? Test Your Skills!

Everyday Question #1

What part of speech is “everyday”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. “Everyday” is an adjective that describes an action or item that's commonplace or something that you do as a matter of habit.

Every day Question #2

“Every day” is an adjective.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is FALSE. “Every day” is a noun phrase that means “each day.”

Everyday vs. Every day Question #3

Which of these is NOT a synonym for “everyday”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. You can't interchange “everyday” and “each day” in a sentence.

Everyday or Every day Question #4

Which sentence is grammatically correct?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. Use “every day” when talking about something that happens each day.

Everyday vs. Every day Question #5

Which sentence is grammatically correct?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. Use everyday when talking about something that is a regular occurrence.

Read More: Anytime Vs. Any Time: What’s The Correct Word To Use?

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Krista Grace Morris

Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

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