A suggestion from a loyal reader inspired this week’s Grammar Hammer. Is everyday one word or two words (every day)?
Both variations refer to an activity that occurs on a daily basis. As usual, the best way to determine which version to use depends on the context. If I am discussing the routine activities that comprise my life, I would call those “everyday activities,” because in this instance, “everyday” is used as an adjective to describe those activities.
- 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, instead I use our finest china.
- “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is not a word that you hear in everyday speech.
Remember: when using “everyday,” think of commonplace or ordinary things
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.”
- 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.
Remember: if your variation of everyday/every day can be replaced with “each day?” you need the adjective + noun formula of “every” and “day.”
Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at email@example.com.
Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire.