Aide or Aid | Definition, Difference & Examples

Aid and aide are pronounced the same but have different meanings.

  • Aid can be used as a verb meaning ‘help’ or ‘assist’ and as a noun meaning ‘assistance’ or ‘relief’.
  • Aide is a noun meaning ‘assistant’.
Examples: Aid in a sentence Examples: Aide in a sentence
I will aid you in any way I can with my advice. Janet works as a presidential aide in the Capitol.
Due to the recession, the country is in extreme need of financial aid. Mike is training to become a nurse aide because he wants to help people.
Without military aid, we will lose the war. Most of Tom’s work is actually done by his aide.

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Aid as a verb

Aid can be used as a verb to mean ‘help’ or ‘assist’. It’s generally somewhat more formal than ‘help’.

Examples: Aid to mean assist
Marie volunteers to aid the elderly every Tuesday and Thursday night.

Will you aid me during the campaign by handing out flyers?

The phrase ‘aid and abet’ is used in legal contexts to refer to the act of helping someone commit a crime.

Example: Aid and abet in a sentence
Ger was accused of aiding and abetting the bank robber.

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Aid as a noun

Aid can be used as a noun to mean ‘relief’ or ‘assistance’.

Examples: Aid as a noun
Due to a mudslide, the miners are trapped and are in need of aid.

It’s often placed after an adjective or attributive noun that describes the specific type of help provided (e.g., ‘hearing’, ‘mobility’).

Examples: Aid after an adjective
The charity offers a range of services, including financial aid.

Annette has created some useful job aids to help new employees.

Aide as a noun

Aide can only be used as a noun meaning ‘assistant’, so it will always refer to a person.

Examples: Aide as a noun
Rafi is currently working as a teacher’s aide.

The CEO’s aide seems to always be in the office.

Worksheet: Aide vs aid

You can test your understanding of the difference between ‘aide’ and ‘aid’ with the worksheet below. Fill in a form of either ‘aide’ or ‘aid’ in each sentence.

  1. The charity started a fund to ______ the homeless.
  2. The economic crisis has further affected those in need of ______.
  3. My teacher explained the idea using a visual ______.
  4. The presidential  ______ proposed greater ______ for the sick and elderly.
  5. Though her business partner was found guilty of fraud, Stacey denied ______ and abetting him.
  1. The charity started a fund to aid the homeless.
    • ‘Aid’ can be used as a verb to mean ‘help’ or ‘assist’.
  1. The economic crisis has further affected those in need of aid.
    • ‘Aid’ can be used as a noun to mean ‘relief’ or ‘assistance’.
  1. My teacher explained the idea using a visual aid.
    • The noun ‘aid’ is often placed after an adjective that describes the specific type of help provided (e.g., ‘military’, ‘financial’).
  1. The presidential aide proposed greater aid for the sick and elderly.
    • ‘Aide’ is used as a noun meaning ‘assistant’. ‘Aid’ is used here as a noun meaning ‘assistance’.
  1. Though her business partner was found guilty of fraud, Stacey denied aiding and abetting him.
    • ‘Aiding and abetting’ is used in legal contexts to refer to the act of helping someone commit a crime.

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Frequently asked questions

Is it visual aid or aide?

A visual aid is an instructional device (e.g., a photo, a chart) that appeals to vision to help you understand written or spoken information. Aid is often placed after an attributive noun or adjective (like ‘visual’) that describes the type of help provided.

‘Visual aide’ is incorrect.

Is it teacher’s aid or aide?

A teacher’s aide is a person who assists in teaching classes but is not a qualified teacher. Aide is a noun meaning ‘assistant’, so it will always refer to a person.

‘Teacher’s aid’ is incorrect.

Is it job aid or job aide?

A job aid is an instructional tool (e.g., a checklist, a cheat sheet) that helps you work efficiently. Aid is a noun meaning ‘assistance’. It’s often placed after an adjective or attributive noun (like ‘job’) that describes the specific type of help provided.

‘Job aide’ is incorrect.

 

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Ryan, E. (2023, August 23). Aide or Aid | Definition, Difference & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 9 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/frequently-confused-words/aide-or-aid/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.