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Stationary or stationery ? They look very much alike. But they couldn’t be further apart

At a glance, stationary and stationery look very much alike. But they couldn’t be further apart in meaning and function. So confusing them—and they’re often confused— is a noticeable mistake.

Stationary with an a is the older of these two terms, and it means “fixed in one place and not moving,” like a stationary bicycle at the gym. Stationery with an e stems from the term stationer, which refers to “a person who sells the materials used in writing, such as paper, pens, pencils, and ink.”

Tip - 

StationERy is papER.

What Does Stationary Mean?

When something is fixed, immobile, or not subject to change, we can use the adjective stationary to describe it:

I don’t care much for the stationary bike; I prefer riding a real one.

It stands in the square as a stationary reminder of the march of history.

What Does Stationery Mean?

Stationery refers to the collection of papers, envelopes, and other things you’d use to write letters or cards:

The hotel offered complimentary stationery to guests who wished to write letters.

She wanted to write a letter, but the drawer where she stored her stationerywas empty.


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