Everyday vs. Every Day
Choosing between using everyday or every day in a sentence is confusing. While the pronunciation is the same, their meanings and spellings differ. This article will explain the difference between the two and help you remember how to use them correctly in your business writing.
Differentiating everyday and every day
These two terms have two different roles.
Everyday is an adjective. Its role is to describe a noun.
Every day is an adverbial phrase. Its role is to describe a verb. In every day, every is the adjective, which describes the noun day. Every day is an adverbial phrase because both words in the phrase are needed to act as an adverb.
Let’s look at their definitions and some examples to put these terms in context.
What does ‘everyday’ mean?
Everyday is an adjective to describe a noun that is common, routine, or typical.
- Our team handles everyday customer complaints and long-term customer experience projects.
- We see everyday commutes as an area ripe for innovation.
- Our typical customer is the everyday family looking to save money.
What does ‘every day’ mean?
Every day is an adverb that describes a verb or action that is done daily.
- Our leadership team has a daily huddle every day at 8:30 am.
- We receive service requests every day that we can turn into a larger contract with the right sales process.
- We need to submit updates every day before 6 pm.
How to correctly remember everyday vs. every day
It can be challenging to select the correct term because while the two terms have different roles in writing, the meanings are similar enough to cause confusion.
When using everyday or every day, double-check which type of word you’re looking for. Is the term describing the verb or the noun in the sentence?
- I am concerned that your everyday workload is overly challenging due to the volume of requests.
- Workload, a noun, is described by everyday, the adjective (not every day, the adverbial phrase).
- I am concerned that you are working late every day due to the volume of requests.
- Are working, a verb, is described by every day, the adverbial phrase (not everyday, the adjective).
How to quick-check correct use
A quick way to check the right use is to replace every day or everyday with another two-word phrase: each day. If the two-word phrase each day (which is also an adverbial phrase) can easily replace every day, then the two-word every day is the correct one. If each day is awkward to use in the sentence, then the one-word adjective everyday is the right fit.
- I take the same route to work every day.
- I take the same route to work each day. [The sentence retains the same meaning.]
- The two-word adverbial phrase every day is correct.
- Let’s survey our everyday customers to see where we can improve our service.
- Let’s survey our each day customers to see where we can improve our service. [The sentence becomes awkward and loses its original meaning.]
- The one-word adjective everyday is correct.
Strong business writing is grammatically correct
Using the correct term for everyday and every day matters to ensure your writing is well received. While most readers will understand your intention if you use either term, using the wrong version can show a lack of attention to detail and reflect poorly on your work.
A good knowledge base and a strong proofreading practice will improve your writing. Most readers will find that they benefit from taking a business writing course. Practice will ensure your writing is grammatically correct and puts your best foot forward. It allows your reader, like a potential client, to focus on your value and not your errors.
About the author
Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.