Aid and Aide

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between aid and aide?

Aid means help or assistance.
To aid means to help or to assist.
An aide is a helper or an assistant. (In other words, an aide is a person.)

Aid and Aide

The words aid and aide sound identical, but their meanings are very different.
(Note: Aid and aide are homonyms, i.e., pronounced the same but with different meanings.)

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the difference between aid and aide.


The word aid means help or assistance. It is commonly seen as an adjective, a noun, or a verb. (As a verb, it means to help or to assist.)

  • Be bold and mighty powers will come to your aid. (Basil King)
  • I have known sorrow and learned to aid the wretched.   (Virgil, 70-19 BC)


The noun aide means a helper or an assistant. An aide is a person.

  • General McChrystal and his aides told the unvarnished truth.
  • The Libyan leader caused a scene at the African Heads of State Summit in Munyonyo when he slapped one of his aides for taking him to a wrong venue.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are adjectives? List of easily confused words