Common English Mistakes and Mix-ups: everyday vs. every day

  

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These two words look the same, but they are different! I mix them up all the time! Here are some tips to avoid this simple error:

Everyday is an adjective used to describe things that happen each day or are normal/usual/commonplace. It is often collocated with the nouns ‘occurrence’ and ‘activity’. For example:

  • Locking my keys in my car is almost an everyday occurrence for me. I need to be more careful!
  • Exercising should be an everyday activity!

Every day is two separate words. In this case the adjective ‘every’ describes the noun ‘day’. We often use this as an adverb phrase to talk about an action. For example:

  • I go for a walk every day after dinner.
  • I do 25 push-ups every day! I’m in great shape!

Helpful hints:

If you aren’t sure which one to use, remember that every day can be replaced with ‘each day’. If ‘each day’ doesn’t make sense, then you are using the wrong one. If you are using everyday, it is often sandwiched between a noun and a verb. Also, you can replace it with ‘daily’ or ‘ordinary’. If ‘ordinary’ or ‘daily’ doesn’t make sense, then you need to switch words!

I hope this helps and good luck!

Image: theyuniversity.net

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