Every Day or Everyday: How To Tell The Difference

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One of the most confusing things about the English language is that the way people speak often doesn’t translate to written language. When it comes to “every day,” this becomes a problem.

There IS a difference between “every day” and “everyday,” but it sounds the same when you talk, so it can be hard to know when to write the correct one! Luckily, this guide is here to help.

  • “Every day”: When written as two words, “every day” is probably the more common usage of the term. “Every day” is a phrase that means “each day.”
    • Example: I do the dishes every day.
    • Example: Every day, I go for a run.
  • “Everyday” is an adjective. It describes something that happens every day. It is often a synonym for “ordinary” or “commonplace.”
    • Example: A jean and t-shirt are my everyday clothes.
    • Example: Going for a run is part of my everyday routine.

If you aren’t sure which to use, think about the phrase “each day.” If you can substitute the phrase with “each day,” then you want to use “every day” as two words! If you are using the phrase as a descriptor, you want the adjective form: “everyday.”

Now you might be wondering… what about other “every” words? Let’s go over them!

“Everyone” and “every one” are two more phrases that mean different things and are used in specific cases.

  • “Everyone” refers to all people in a group. It can be replaced with “everybody.”
  • Example: Everyone in this crowd means so much to me.
  • “Every one” is a phrase that refers to each person in a group. It can be replaced with “each one”
  • Example: I want to thank every one of you for your commitment to this team.

If you aren’t sure which to use, remember two things. First, “everyone” can be seamlessly replaced with “everybody.” Second, “every one” is always followed by a phrase that begins with the word “of” – notice that in the example above?

There are a couple of “every” words that do not have different meanings in different forms. Some of them, described below, are only acceptable in certain forms. Read on to find out how.

Everywhere is always written as one word. It is an adverb that refers to all possible places. Sometimes, a writer or artist might make a stylistic choice to split up the words: you might read a poem in English class, for example, that splits it up. However, for all purposes, and especially for college essays and professional letters, you should write “everywhere” as one word.

  • Example: I looked everywhere for my missing watch.

Every time is the opposite: “every time” is always, always written as two separate words. “Every time” is a phrase that means “each time.

  • Example: Every time I paint, I feel better.

Similar to the other words, you might see song or book titles that use incorrect forms of the above words. Don’t let that trip you up! “Everywhere” is always one word, and “every time” is always two words.

It may seem tricky, but with some practice and the above guide, you’ll be an expert before you know it!

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