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When to use “Aid” vs. “Aide” to talk about assistance and job titles

You may already be aware that “to aid” is a verb that means to provide help. “Aide” is a very different noun. It does not have a verb form and can never be used in the same context as aid.

Beth Taylor
Beth Taylor

Aide or aid?

You may already be aware that “to aid” is a verb that means to provide help. The noun “aid” is closely linked to the verb and means help or assistance.

One example of the common use of the noun aid is “first aid,” referring to the initial help or care provided at an accident or injury scene. Furthermore, we often talk about giving aid to countries in need. This is often the case in the aftermath of a natural disaster when other countries offer food and medical provisions or military assistance. Aid can also be a physical object that assists, such as a walking aid or a hearing aid.

Job aid or job aide?

“Aide” is a very different noun. It does not have a verb form and can never be used in the same context as aid. They share the exact origins, as an aide is somebody who provides help and assistance, but “aide” specifically refers to the person or job role and not the service provided.

The most common context in which you will encounter the noun aide is when speaking about the government. Most government ministers have aides to assist them in their duties. Other positions of power can also have aides, such as high-ranking military members.

An aide can also refer to any other job role where a person assists, albeit less common. For example, in a medical context, we may use “aide” to refer to nursing assistants or auxiliaries in hospitals, carers in nursing homes, or medication aides who administer medications to patients and do inventory on supplies in specific medical settings.

Other job roles that could be considered aides include personal assistants who provide aid to company directors and different assistant roles, which are vital for the day-to-day running of large companies and organizations.

Aide vs. Aid: Examples

After the tsunami, many countries provided aid by supplying clean water, food, and medical provisions.
He’s studying politics in the hope of becoming a government aide.
I have a hearing aid that helps me hear better from my right ear.
I was the Senator’s aide for three years before running for office myself.
You can receive free legal aid for your court hearing if you meet the criteria.
We don’t require moral support. We require financial aid.
It would be a national scandal if the President’s former aides confirmed the rumors.
I will provide aid to all those in need of medical attention.
Some believe his aides are the masterminds behind the whole operation.
When patients ring the bell, a nurse or aide responds immediately.

Video examples:

Thank You for Smoking (2005)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Robot & Frank (2012)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
The Imitation Game (2014)
EnglishWhich is correct

Beth Taylor

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