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Everyday or Every Day?
July 05, 2016

July 5, 2016

Dear,

English Grammar Revolution We spent the last few days celebrating Independence Day with our family and friends. David and I took the plunge and kept Alice awake to see fireworks for the first time. She enjoyed them, but I'm not sure it was worth the exhaustion we're all feeling today!

Do you ever hesitate when you're about to write everyday because you're not sure if you should be writing everyday or every day? I'll clear up the confusion for you with today's grammar lesson.

Happy Learning,


Elizabeth O'Brien

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Everyday or Every Day?

People often mistake the word everyday for the phrase every day.

Have you ever made this grammar mistake? Well, I don't blame you. Not only have I seen people misuse these in casual writing, but I've also seen newspapers and television ads using them incorrectly.

The rule is fairly easy to grasp. Read through this lesson and then take the quiz!

Everyday Grammar


The Grammar Behind Everyday & Every Day

Everyday

    This is an adjective. That means that it can only be used to modify nouns. It's a one-trick pony.

    • I wore my everyday clothes to the grocery store.

    In that example, everyday means commonplace. It's modifying the noun clothes.

Every Day

    This is the form used for all other purposes. It will often be an adverbial phrase. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. This phrase typically modifies verbs.

    • Seth eats breakfast at 8:00 every day.

    Every day is telling us more about the verb eats. It tells us when Seth eats. (When is one of the adverb questions.)

    • Every day, I read for at least five minutes.

    Every day is telling us about the verb read. It tells us when I read.

    Tip
    If you can substitute each day for the word in question, use every day.

It's Time For A Quiz!

Are you ready to put your new knowledge to the test? Check out the following five pictures and decide which are correct and which are incorrect. You'll find the answers just below the pictures.

1.

Everyday Grammar

2.

Everyday Grammar

3.

Everyday Grammar

4.

Everyday Grammar


Check Your Answers

Remember that everyday is always an adjective.

1. Keep calm and smile everyday. --> Incorrect

    Here, everyday is modifying smile. Since smile is a verb, they should have used the adverb every day.

2. Everyday Magic --> Correct
    This is an old telephone ad from the 1920s. Isn't it fun to see how much marketing has changed since then? These guys got their ad copy right when they chose everyday. It's modifying magic, which is a noun.

3. Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.--> Correct
    We can easily substitute each day for every day, so this is correct.

    Did you notice that this isn't an adverbial phrase? Every is just a plain old adjective, and day is just a plain old noun. (Day is the direct object of the verb start.)

4. Learn Everyday --> Incorrect
    Everyday is modifying learn. Learn is a verb, so it needs to be modified by an adverb, not an adjective.


I hope that this lesson will help you avoid making the everyday/every day grammar mistake in the future! _______________________________________________________________ Are you an educator? Feel free to use this information with your students.

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About Elizabeth

English Grammar Revolution

Elizabeth O'Brien is founder of www.GrammarRevolution.com, a company devoted to helping people learn and love grammar.

Through her website, books, and programs, Elizabeth shows people how to teach and learn grammar the easy way. She's on a mission to inspire and motivate people by making grammar fun and friendly.

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