everyday vs. every day

Thursday, February 5, 2009

everyday is an adjective meaning, "commonplace; ordinary":

an everyday toil

every day is an expression meaning, "each day":
Every day I die.

If you're not sure which one to use, here's a trick: Use the phrase "each day" instead, if it doesn't sound right, then "everyday" is probably the word you're looking for; if it does, then go with "every day" (or just leave it as "each day").

And if you're still not sure, remember that "everyday" is an adjective, so it's going to be modifying a noun.

And if you're hopelessly lost, know that "everyday" is also occasionally used as a noun meaning, "the routine or ordinary day or occasion":
Toil and death are constants in the everyday.

so if someone calls you out on misusing the two, you should be able to make a convoluted and bizarre explanation around that fact.