Aug 12, 2014

Grammar Hammer: All Day “Every Day” or “Everyday”?

the Grammar Hammer

everyday vs every day

A suggestion from a loyal reader inspired this week’s Grammar Hammer. Is everyday one word or two words (every day)?

Both variations refer to an activity that occurs on a daily basis. As usual, the best way to determine which version to use depends on the context. If I am discussing the routine activities that comprise my life, I would call those “everyday activities,” because in this instance, “everyday” is used as an adjective to describe those activities.

Examples:

  • I found the best shoes! They are perfect for everyday wear.
  • When it comes to hosting the big holiday meal, I don’t use the everyday dishes, instead I use our finest china.
  • “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is not a word that you hear in everyday speech.

Remember: when using “everyday,” think of commonplace or ordinary things

If I’m telling you something that I do each day, I would say, “I have to fix my cup of coffee every day before I even think about tackling email.” I’m using “every” as an adjective in this instance to describe the noun “day.”

Examples:

  • One thing that makes my house smell fresh and clean is to scoop the cat’s litter box every day.
  • Every day, I try to walk 10,000 steps.
  • I have an uncontrollable urge to nap every day at 2:41 p.m.

Remember: if your variation of everyday/every day can be replaced with “each day?” you need the adjective + noun formula of “every” and “day.”

Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.

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