Everyday vs. every day

Everyday is an adjective used to describe things that (1) occur every day, or (2) are ordinary or commonplace. In the two-word phrase every day, the adjective every modifies the noun day, and the phrase usually functions adverbially. For example, every day you eat breakfast. You brush your teeth every day. Maybe you go for a walk every day. These are everyday activities.

When you’re not sure which one to use, try replacing everyday/every day with each day. If each day would make sense in its place, then you want the two-word form. Everyday, meanwhile, is synonymous with daily or ordinary, depending on its sense.

Examples

When Hirohito spoke, few could understand him because he used a language so formal that it was unintelligible to everyday people. [Washington Post]

His owner says he’s excited to go to work every day. [Calgary Herald]

Is the trend for using high-end ingredients in everyday recipes going to take off outside restaurants and TV studios? [Guardian]

In both our cases, every day spent off school was a day spent playing video games. [Sydney Morning Herald]

18 thoughts on “Everyday vs. every day”

  1. This website is the perfect place for people like me ailed by grammarphobia! and now i’m off to the index to make sure i used the right preposition there! :D

    Reply
  2. I think i understsand what they are saying. if you want someone to do something each day, then its Every Day.

    But if its something you do then its everyday

    example 1: Turn on the computer every day at 12 noon.

    example 2: I each an apple everyday at 12 noon.

    would that be right for the word everyday/every day

    Reply
    • DJZMAN, your first example is correct but the second is not. Try to use the word ‘ordinary’ instead and you will see that it does not fit into either sentence, so you cannot use ‘everyday’. Using ‘each day’ does makes sense, so you should use ‘every day’.

      Reply

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