A suggestion from a loyal reader (thanks, Cal!) is the subject of this week’s post. Is it “everyday” (one word) or “every day” (two words)? I’m also an admitted music geek, so I’m always inspired by song titles.
Both of these words refer to something that occurs on a daily basis. The best way to determine which word to use is always the context in which the word will be used. If I am talking about the general, mundane, routine activities that comprise my life, I would call those “everyday activities” (everyday in this instance being the adjective describing those activities). 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.”
Think of it this way. If you were to rewrite your sentence, can your variation of everyday/every day be replaced with “each day?” If so, you need the adjective + noun formula of “every” and “day.”
- 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.
When using “everyday,” think of commonplace or ordinary things (or more song lyrics! Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”).
- 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, I get out Grandma’s china.
- “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is not a word that you hear in everyday speech.
Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.