Stationery vs. Stationary

Grammar Tips

Grammar Tip: Stationery vs. Stationary from Mainstay Editorial Services

The holidays are over. The parties have ended. The gifts have been given, and now, it’s time to write your thank you notes. Are you going to write them on stationary or stationery?

I know what you’re thinking. Here we go again with more homophones – words that are pronounced the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. And, you’re right. I have focused on a lot of homophones in my biweekly Grammar Tips. That’s because homophones tend to be confusing to many of us.

If you are writing letters, you are writing on stationery. Stationery is a noun that refers to notecards. On the other hand, stationary is an adjective that means not moving.

Stationery vs. Stationary – A Memory Trick

While preparing this Grammar Tip, I came across a few tricks to help you remember which version of the word to use.

StationERy is a type of papER. Both words use ER in their ending. Another way to think about it is that stationery uses an “e” in the ending. However, who writes letters these days? Instead, we write emails. Stationery and email use “e” and both involve writing.

When you are stationAry, you are stAnding still. You are immobile. Stationary and standing use “a.”

I hope these tips are helpful. If you have a grammar question, let me know by asking in the comment section. I might feature your question in a future Grammar Tip, because chances are, others have the same question. In the meantime, grab some stationery, and get to work on your thank you notes.

Looking for more tips? Click here to see all of my Grammar Tips.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: