Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Everyday or every day?

with 3 comments

A photo from 1899 showing the use of toothbrush.
Image via Wikipedia

In last weekend’s Sunday Times magazine, Colgate ran a full-page ad claiming that its ‘Sensitive Pro-Relief’ product offers: Long lasting relief … when you brush everyday.

In this case, that ‘everyday’ should be ‘every day’ (two words).

How do you know which to use? Easy.

If you’ve written ‘everyday’, ask if what you mean is ‘each day’ — which is what the writer of the Colgate ad meant. ‘Each day’ is two words and so ‘every day’ should be two words. So, it’s correct to write:

I brush my teeth every day (or ‘each day’)


So when is ‘everyday’ used? Well, it can be used, for example, like this:

Brushing my teeth is an everyday activity.

You can see that you wouldn’t write here:

Brushing my teeth is an ‘each day’ activity.

You’ll often see everyday/every day used wrongly — just apply the ‘each day’ test and you’ll then avoid adding to this particular catalogue of errors.

Similar confusion can arise with ‘everyone’ and ‘every one’

More commonly confused words



3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. 8 out of 10 people do not keep this in mind!

    Vikas Gupta

    19/11/2009 at 9:23 am

    • You’re right there, Vikas — it’s an easy mistake to make, but ad copywriters should know better.


      19/11/2009 at 11:04 am

  2. I’m just glad I don’t have to wear her corset or wash her long locks in a bowl every day.

    Michael Farrell

    29/03/2010 at 2:41 pm

Your questions and comments are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: