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Everyday vs. Every Day: One Word or Two?

A Fun Lesson to Learn the Difference!

In the 17 years I’ve been teaching English (or “ELA” as we cool kids call it), I’ve found that one of the most confusing concepts for students to learn while editing writing is whether to use “everyday” vs. “every day” — one word or two.

Which is correct? Read on to find out — illustrated by my hand-drawn educational cartoons!

Everyday vs. Every Day
Everyday vs. Every Day: Learn which to use!

“Everyday” vs. “Every Day” Depends on Context

The answer to the “everyday vs. every day” battle depends on what you’re trying to say, and where the word (or words) will be placed in the sentence. Yes, those two phrases have distinct definitions and parts of speech, meaning they are used in different ways.

If the words are plopped in the wrong place, the writing won’t work… so let’s figure out how to use them correctly.

Everyday vs. every day example
An example of everyday vs. every day.

“Everyday” Definition and Correct Use

The word “everyday” (written as one word with no space in the middle) is an adjective: a describing word that goes before a noun. What’s the definition of “everyday?” It means: ordinary, commonplace, normal, basic, or typical — used or seen on a daily basis. Something that is described as “everyday” is not fancy or special, because it’s frequently in use in one’s ongoing routine.

Examples of “Everyday” in Sentences:

His everyday routine involves a good workout, meditation, and eating lots of fruits and veggies. He knows that taking care of his physical self on a daily basis makes a huge positive difference in happiness and productivity.

“Honey, you can’t wear your everyday clothes and shoes to our wedding! Everyone will think you’re a slob who doesn’t care about our marriage!”

She decided not to take her everyday route home on Thursday, because she heard there was a purple whale spotted near the beach, and she hoped to catch a glimpse by driving near the shore.

Rain is an everyday occurrence in Hilo, Hawaii — one of the rainiest places in the world.

Is everyday one word? Sentence example.
A sentence using “everyday” and “every day” correctly.

“Every Day” Meaning and Correct Use

When written as two words, “every day” is an adverbial phrase made of an adjective (“every”) and noun (“day”) which is used to describe how often something is done. It is the answer to questions about frequency. The definition of “every day” is: daily, each day, or every single day.

“Every Day” Examples in Sentences:

I eat four pumpkins every day because I am actually Pumpkin Monster.

“I did my homework on time every day this week — yes every time the teacher checked, I had it! I feel so proud of myself, and my school grades are going up and up.”

Every day that I’m far away from my dragon, my heart aches with longing

Everyday vs. Every Day VIDEO:

Tricks to Know Whether to Use One Word or Two

What are techniques to remember the difference between these commonly confused phrases? If you’re looking to place the word(s) before a noun to mean “normal” or “typical,” use “everyday.” If you’re writing something to answer the question “how often?” use “every day.”

Another trick to double check if “every day” is correct in the sentence is to replace the words with “each day” or “day after day,” or to put “single” in the space so it becomes “every single day.” If the sentence still makes sense with that replacement, “every day” is correct.

Sentences with Everyday AND Every Day

Ready for a wild ride? Let’s use BOTH “everyday” and “every day” correctly in sentences to get into the groove. This should help solve the dilemma for whether to use one word or two.

“You tell me every day that you love me exactly as I am, so why CAN’T I wear my everyday shoes to our wedding? Scruffy is just who I am! I’ve got to be true to myself, and I refuse to apologize for my fashion choices.”

After a while, the grumpy octopus realized that his everyday hat was too tight. Every day in October, he went to different stores, looking for a new outfit that would feel more comfortable. Finally in November, he found one!

Every day that he practices making creative drawings, he becomes happier. Making art into an everyday habit has so many positive benefits.

I got so used to drinking coffee every day that it became an everyday need — one I couldn’t function without. As a result, I decided I needed to quit coffee so as not to be so dependent.

The Difference Between Every Day vs. Everyday

I hope this lesson on “everyday” vs. “every day” was useful! Want more grammar, spelling, usage, vocabulary, and ELA lessons? Check out these other educational cartoon articles and videos, and feel free to request others!