Every day, I come across all sorts of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors as I make my way across the vastness of the Internet. It’s become an everyday thing to find someone mistakenly writing it’s (with an apostrophe) when they should really be writing its (no apostrophe) instead. The two words sound the same when spoken and they use the same letters, but they are not at all the same thing. The same is true when you add or remove a space, as is the case with every day and everyday. Do you know when to use which?

My Everyday Hustle

Everyday (one word) is an adjective with two main definitions. First, it could refer to something that exists, happens, is used, or is done on a daily basis. You might talk about your everyday chores, like cooking dinner and taking out the trash. Some of your everyday activities may include commuting to work or walking the dog.

The second definition, which sounds very similar to the first in principle, is to describe something that is mundane, ordinary, typical or commonplace. You might refer to everyday food, like hamburgers and pasta, in contrast to the food you might eat during special occasions, like roast turkey on Thanksgiving and green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.

Every Day I’m Hustling

Every day (two words) is different. “Every” is an adjective modifying the noun “day.” Together, they function like an adverb to describe something that happens daily.

But isn’t this the same as the first definition of everyday?

Yes and no. The difference comes in the usage.

Correct: Every day, I eat lunch at Helen’s Grill.
Incorrect: Everyday, I eat lunch at Helen’s Grill.

Correct: There will be three performances every day this week.
Incorrect: There will be three performances everyday this week.

A handy trick for deciding which term to use is to replace “every” with “each.” If it still makes sense, then every day (two words) is correct. If it doesn’t make sense, then everyday (one word) is correct.

Each day, I eat lunch at Helen’s Grill. (Correct)
There will be three performances each day this week. (Correct)

I’m overwhelmed by my each day chores. (Incorrect)
I’m overwhelmed by my everyday chores. (Correct)

It helps that there is no such word as “eachday” to further confuse the matter.

Pop Quiz!

Ready to put your newfound knowledge to your test? Comment below with your answers.

  1. I spent (every day / everyday) last summer playing basketball.
  2. The (every day / everyday) language spoken at home is English.
  3. That’s not something you see (every day / everyday).
  4. This restaurant has the same specials (every day / everyday).
  5. Elevate (every day / everyday) ingredients with new, creative recipes.