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Everyday Is Used Every Day

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

It's common to mistake when to use "everyday" vs "every day." Here's some grammar help on whether to write what you mean as one word or two.

When we put two words together into one word, we create a "compound" word. It is common for the compound word to have a different meaning than the words have by themselves. We all know, for instance, that when we take the preposition "under" and combine it with the verb "stand," we end up with a compound verb "understand" that has a new meaning ("understand" has nothing to do with standing under anything). Likewise, when we take the noun "baby" and combine it with the verb "sit," we get a compound verb "babysit;" clearly babysitting does not actually entail sitting on a baby.

I've noticed a tendency in many writers to combine certain 2-word phrases into single words, perhaps thinking that the meaning doesn't change. For instance, "stand out" becomes "standout" (the 2-word verb phrase changes to a 1-word adjective). One of the most common pairs of words I have seen people put together ungrammatically are "every" and "day." Please note: "Every day" does NOT mean the same thing as "everyday." Be careful when you choose to create this compound word about what you really mean to say.

First I will lay out the basics: What do these words mean? "Every day" (2 words) means "happening or occurring each day." Technically it's an adverb modifying a verb. In contrast, the compound word "everyday" is an adjective meaning "of or pertaining to every day;" "of or pertaining to regular days (as opposed to holidays);" "commonplace" or "regular."

Let's look at some examples of proper use:

  • I walk to work every day. (2-word adverb modifying "walk")
  • I wear my everyday shoes to walk to work; I change to my Manolo Blahniks upon arrival. (1-word adjective modifying "shoes")
  • It has snowed every day for the past week. (2-word adverb modifying "snow")
  • Snow is an everyday event during Wisconsin winters. (1-word adjective modifying "event")
  • I wish I could eat chocolate all day every day! (2-word adverb modifying "eat")
  • Some chocolate sure would spice up this everyday chili. (1-word adjective modifying "chili" - and yes, cocoa powder adds just the right verve!)

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.

Now let's take a look at some common ways people misuse the word "everyday." I'll use 3 examples from LinkedIn.

1. 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).

2. 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."

3. 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"! I also hope my article has been your new piece of learning for the day. Please pass the learning on to someone who will benefit from it today and every day.

Do you have other writing or grammar questions? Contact The Essay Expert, we can help you choose exactly the right words. For writing that gets results.

Brenda Bernstein, Founder and Senior Editor,

If you are having trouble writing about yourself, contact The Essay Expert. Brenda is a Career Advisor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She holds an English degree from Yale University and a law degree from NYU, and has ten years' experience coaching individuals and companies on their writing projects.

Brenda's expertise lies not just in creating an effective product, but in listening closely to her clients' background and goals. Clients report that the tools they learn with Brenda allow them to undertake future writing projects with confidence and ease.

Specialties: Resumes, Cover Letters, College Application Essays, Professional Bios, LinkedIn Profiles

Source: EzineArticles
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