‘Aid' vs 'Aide': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on February 3, 2023

Not sure about the difference between 'aid' vs 'aide'? Fear not; this article will clarify the meaning of each word and how to use it.

In short, 'aid' can be a noun or a verb and is synonymous with 'help.' An 'aide' is a person who assists or acts as an assistant.

What's the Difference Between 'Aid' vs 'Aide?'

'Aid' and 'aide' are homophones, meaning that they sound alike but are spelled differently and have entirely separate meanings. They are not interchangeable.

Some other common homonyms we've covered include:

So what do they mean if they're not the same word? Let's find out.

What Does 'Aid' Mean?

'Aid' is pretty straightforward, as it's essentially just a synonym of 'help'; it's just a little more formal. And just like 'help,' 'aid' can be a noun or a verb.

The noun 'aid' stands for "help given : ASSISTANCE."

The verb 'aid' is "to provide with what is useful or necessary in achieving an end."

The word comes from the Latin adiuvare. Interestingly, the verb 'to help' in French is still 'aider.'

What Does 'Aide' Mean?

'Aide,' on the other hand, is a noun and can only mean one thing: a person who provides help or assistance.

This could be a teacher's aide, an aide to a government official, or an aide to a superior military officer.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Aid' and 'Aide'

The good news is that these two words are pronounced the same since their homophones. According to the International Phonetics Alphabet, they are spelled like this:

/ eɪd /

And they sound like this when you pronounce them:

[ eyd ]

When to Use 'Aid' vs 'Aide'

Now we've covered the meaning of the words and how to pronounce them. Would you like to know how to use them in a sentence? Below I'll provide some examples of each word so that you can gain a better understanding of how they're used in context.

We'll start with 'aid.'

Examples of 'Aid' in a Sentence

I assume you've completed your first-aid training.

He was so lost and confused that he didn't know where to seek the appropriate aid.

There's no guarantee that we'll receive the aid we need in the timeframe we need it.

They've offered to aid us in reaching that goal.

She's looking for anything that might aid her escape.

Examples of 'Aide' in a Sentence

A live-in teaching aide would have been helpful to any parent during the pandemic!

I'm talking with the manager this afternoon about getting an extra aide on board.

The aide is responsible for helping the principal with all school affairs.

The only people who know about this deal are my aide and me.

I'm a volunteer nurse aide.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Aid' vs 'Aide'

That concludes today's blog on the difference between 'aid' and 'aide.' To summarize:

  • 'Aid' is a noun or a verb and is synonymous with 'help.'
  • 'Aide' is a person who helps or assists.

If you'd like to learn about more confusing words, visit our blog.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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