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Aid vs. Aide – Pick the Correct Word

Aid vs. Aide – Pick the Correct Word

While it may not seem like the little “E” at the end of aide should matter much, it does. That extra letter turns aid into a different word altogether.

And while aid and aide do mean very similar things about helping people, their usages are distinct. Continue reading to understand how to use these words correctly.

Short and Sweet: Aid vs. Aide

Both of these words are nouns, but they are not interchangeable.

  • Aid is a type of assistance or help, usually financial or economic. > Financial aid.
  • An aide is an employee of assistant. > A teacher’s aide.

Continue reading and I will also show you how to remember when to use aid or aide.

What Does Aid Mean?

Meaning of Aid: Aid is a verb and a noun. It means to help or assist. One can aid or provide aid to many things, such as a person or a cause.

  • The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid!
  • Your generous contribution greatly aids our campaign.

Often, aid appears in the phrase “first aid.” This refers to initial medical attention administered first, before medical professionals are needed or able to help.

  • The bandages are in the first aid
  • Someone who knows CPR needs to administer first aid to this person while we wait for the ambulance to arrive!

Another common phrase is to “come to one’s aid.” It has the same meaning as to “come to the rescue.”

  • I was in a tough spot, but my friends came to my aid.

Aid also appears in the phrase “aid and abet,” which generally has a more negative connotation. In this case, aid is used to describe the actions of someone who is not directly guilty of a crime but helped it happen through their actions or inaction.

  • By not going to the authorities, you aid and abet this money laundering scheme!

What Does Aide Mean?

Meaning of Aide: Aide is a noun that refers to a person. Aide is synonymous with “assistant.” It is often the title of someone’s job, and aide is usually modified by another noun to describe the person to whom the aide is providing assistance.

  • How are things working out with that new teacher’s aide?
  • He worked as a nurse’s aide while he was in school.
  • The senator never goes anywhere without at least one of her aides.

These are the three most common professions in which one would describe their assistant as an aide: teacher, nurse, or politician. In the corporate world, people generally just call the people who help them their assistants.

Aide vs. Aid: How to Remember the Difference

Both aid and aide deal with the idea of help or assistance. The difference in their meanings is that aide is a person, while aid is assistance.

Aide is differentiated from aid in spelling by the “E” on the end. You can remember that an aide is an employee because both words end in the letter “E.”

Now, whether your writing calls for aide or aid, you will know how be able to remember the difference.

Recap: When to Use Aid and Aide

Aid and aide are similar words with closely related meanings.

  • Aid can be a noun meaning “assistance,” or a verb meaning “to assist.”
  • Aide is a noun meaning “assistant,” or “a person who provides aid.”

Always use aid unless referring to a person who is employed to be an aide.



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