People often mix up the words \u2018stationery\u2019 and \u2018stationary\u2019. This is an understandable mistake, since these words sound exactly the same. They are also spelled almost identically.\r\n\r\nHowever, these words also have very different meanings, so learning which is which is essential to avoiding errors in your academic writing. In this post, we set out their definitions and usage.\r\nStationery\r\nThe word \u2018stationery\u2019, spelled with an \u2018e\u2019, is a noun meaning 'materials and tools used for writing'. This includes everything from pens and pencils to printer paper and hole punches.\r\n\r\nThe term 'stationery' should therefore be used in a sentence like this:\r\nI need to buy some new stationery before the start of term.\r\n\r\nStationary\r\nThe word \u2018stationary\u2019, spelled with an \u2018a\u2019, is an adjective used to describe something which is not in motion or which is never supposed to move. It should be used in sentences like this:\r\nThe car was stationary when the motorbike crashed into it.\r\nIt can also be used to mean unchanging or constant, as in the sentence:\r\nThe country has a stationary population.\r\n\r\nThe Difference\r\nThe vital thing to remember is that stationery (with an \u2018e\u2019) is usually a noun, while \u2018stationary\u2019 (with an \u2018a\u2019) is an adjective. And remember:\r\nStationery = Writing equipment and office supplies\r\nStationary = Not moving\r\nIf you would like more advice, or to have a 500-word sample of your work proofread for free, upload your document to Proofread My Essay today!