If you are one of those authors who randomly switches between everyday and every day, don’t feel bad. They are not interchangeable, but you are in good company. I often edit manuscripts for amazing authors who have no idea whether or not that troublesome space should be there.
But luckily, the difference between everyday and every day is straightforward once you get the hang of it.
Everyday is an adjective (a word that describes something) that means ordinary.
Example: You can’t wear everyday shoes to meet an intergalactic ambassador.
Every day, on the other hand, is a phrase made up of the adjective every and the noun day.
Example: Every day Terri feeds the baby dinosaurs at the park.
Sometimes Either Can Be Correct… Sort of
Usually, using one in the place of the other is incorrect. Although occasionally, either everyday or every day is grammatically correct, but the meanings are different.
For example, you could write:
Everyday chickens do amazing things.
Or you could write:
Every day chickens do amazing things.
Both sentences are grammatically correct (and true).
The first sentence uses the adjective everyday to describe the chickens who are doing amazing things. They’re normal, everyday chickens yet they still do amazing things. Maybe they do them every day or maybe just every now and then.
The second sentence uses the phrase every day to say that each and every single day chickens are doing amazing things. Maybe they’re ordinary chickens or maybe extraordinary chickens, but either way, they’re constantly amazing.
Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about everyday vs every day. What other sets of words leave you second guessing whether or not to add a space?