Does your favorite movie make you cry every time or everytime? For these commonly confused words, the difference does not come down to spelling but to a space between words. Discover the difference between every time and everytime, including which is correct and how to use the term.
The Difference Between Every Time and Everytime
Because of similar terms like every day and everyday, it is understandable to assume that there might be a difference between every time and everytime. However, everytime is simply not correct.
every time (correct) - each time; whenever; no exception
everytime (incorrect) - a misspelling of every time
Examples and Usage of Every Time
Every time is an adverb that means “on each occasion” or “without exception.”
She was right every time.
Every time I go to the mountains, I have a great time.
That movie gets me every time I see it.
I seem to forget something every time I leave the house.
Every time I think things can’t get any worse, they do.
He aimed at the target but missed the mark every time.
Get It Right Every Time
Now that you know the difference between every time and everytime, make sure you remember the correct version. Everytime can be mistakenly used in place of every time, but it is also incorrectly used as a synonym of whenever. In contrast, every time can be replaced with “each time.”
So next time you’re thinking of writing everytime, mentally replace it with “whenever” or “each time” to see which is a better fit. If whenever fits the sentence better, use that word. If you can use each time in the context of the sentence, you can use that or every time in its place.
Should You Use Every Time or Each Time?
Every time is understandably often used interchangeably with each time because their meanings are very similar. The expression “each and every time” does not make a clear distinction, but it implies that they are different.
Technically, every can be used with two or more things, but each is preferable when there are two things and every is best when there are three or more things. For example:
- Incorrect: I spilled my drink on every leg.
- Correct: I spilled my drink on each leg.
- Incorrect: I’ve read each book he’s written.
- Correct: I’ve read every book he’s written.
- Incorrect: I called every one of my family members.
- Correct: I called each of my family members.
However, if the latter example was changed to every one of it could be correct. Some other instances where you could use either every or each include:
- Correct: Every person there had a good time.
- Correct: Each person there had a good time.
- Correct: I was right every time my teacher asked me a question.
- Correct: I was right each time my teacher asked me a question.
Other Phrases Beginning With Every
There are many terms and idioms that use every as a single word and have similar meanings to every time. For example:
every now and then - from time to time
every so often - occasionally
every once in a while - once in a while
every which way - in all directions
every other - alternating
One Word vs. Two Words: Keeping Them Straight
While every time is the only correct version of this word debate, sometimes more than one spelling is correct. Some terms can be separated into two words, and others cannot. Explore similarly confused words including anymore and any more or everyone and every one.