Believe it or not, there is a difference between everyday and every day. Most people use them interchangeably because you cannot tell the difference when speaking–and if you can’t tell the difference when speaking, then you can’t when writing, right? Wrong. So let’s learn how to CORRECTLY use these two words! 😀
Everyday, as one word, is an adjective–it describes nouns. As an adjective, it means “daily.” Perhaps one of the most common reasons for incorrect usage of everyday is that people tend to use it as an adverb. Let’s look at some examples of everyday:
- I have an everyday routine.
- My husband wants me to wash the everyday laundry, but not his business clothes.
Notice in these examples that everyday is modifying the word after it. Just like you would say, “a gray cat,” with the adjective before the noun, you generally do the same here. You should also be able to replace everyday with “daily,” with the sentence still making sense.
Every day, as two separate words, functions as an adverb. It means “each day,” or “regularly.” It describes something that is DONE on a regular basis Let’s look at a few examples.
- I run every day.
- I go to the store every day.
Notice here that every day modifies the verbs. A good way to figure out if you should use every day is by sticking in “single” and see if it still makes sense:
- I run every single day.
- I go to the store every single day.
Now with the earlier examples, you cannot use “single.” Therefore, you use everyday as one word.