The English language has numerous words that confuse people because they not only only sound alike, but also spelled similarly. The terms aid and aide are examples of these words because they are not only homophones (words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings), but also, their spellings are set apart by a single “e” at the end of the word aide. Let’s find how different these two words are and how we can use them properly.
The word aid may function either as a noun or a verb. As a noun, it may refer to “the act of helping someone” or a “tangible means of assistance such as money or supplies.” It commonly refers to the financial assistance provided by a government to a certain sector or another government.
Yemen aid not reaching intended recipients, say activists on ground
Soros-Backed NGO Braces for Polish Crackdown Over Norway Aid
Aid can also be used as a verb meaning “to help, assist, or support someone or something in the achievement of something.”
Office to Aid Crime Victims Is Latest Step in Crackdown on Immigrants
New York Times
Laura Bassett puts hunt for new club on hold to aid England’s Euro 2017 campaign
On the other hand, the term aide is used as a noun which refers to “a person who acts as an assistant.” This is usually used for people working under a politician, teacher, or military officer.
Syria enters French election debate as Le Pen aide questions intelligence report
Oakland High School instructional aide injured after hit by SUV
East Bay Times
Now that we have discovered the difference between aid and aide, it would be easier for us to use these words properly in our writing. Let us keep in mind that aide can only be used as a noun referring to a person providing assistance or help usually to an important person while aid is a form of help or assistance as a noun and the act of providing this help as a verb.