Dairy vs. Diary – How to Use Correctly

enhancedwriting/ August 10, 2017/ Uncategorized

dairy versus diary

What’s the Difference Between Dairy and Diary?

Dairy and diary might look similar, but their pronunciations are fairly different, and their definitions are very different.

Dairy can act as either an adjective or a noun that relates to milk—or food made from milk. It has two syllables, and the first syllable contains the long a sound.

  • People who are lactose intolerant should avoid dairy products.

Diary is a noun that means a written record of one’s personal activities throughout a period of time. It has three syllables, and the first syllable contains the long i sound.

  • My sister hides her diary so that no one can read it other than her.

Now, let’s go over a few ways to use these words in English.

Using Dairy in a Sentence

When to use dairy: Dairy can be a noun or an adjective that relates to milk and milk products.

As a noun, dairy can mean the place where milk products are kept, produced, or sold or milk or milk products themselves.

For example,

  • Cream, yogurt, cheese, and butter are all dairy products. (adjective)
  • I can’t eat dairy because it hurts my stomach. (noun)

Be careful not to confuse dairy with meat. Meat also comes from animals but requires that the animal must be dead. Dairy, on the other hand, requires that the animal must be living to continue to give milk.

Using Diary in a Sentence

When to use diary: Diary is a noun that means a private book in which one can write their private thoughts, emotions, or experiences.

For example,

  • Many teenagers keep a diary as a way to process their emotions and remember important experiences.
  • Diaries are useful to historians as a means to understand how people lived in the past.

A synonym for diary is journal. However, some people believe that diaries are more feminine than journals. Therefore, some boys are reluctant to say that they keep a diary, and prefer to say that they keep a journal.

Remembering Dairy vs. Diary

There are two mnemonic devices that use the spelling of dairy and diary to help you remember which word to use and when.

The first way involves the fact that dairy contains the letters air. Dairy products come from animals on farms. Farms traditionally are out in the countryside, where the animals have access to lots of fresh air. The spelling of air can help you remember the relationship between dairy, farms, and fresh air.

The second way also involves the letters. Diary begins with the letters dia. The Latin word for day is di. You can see this in other Latin based languages such as Spanish, in which the word for day is dia. Many people write in their diary every day.

Alternatively, diaries often contain dialogues, another word which begins with dia. Also, most people want to keep their diary private. If someone found and read a person’s diary, it would be a disaster. Disaster also begins with di.

Outside Examples

  • “This is our living and our way of life,” said Eldon T. Miller, 71, an Amish dairy farmer here. A little over 20 years ago, Miller began holding informational meetings in his basement about organics, and the idea slowly spread across the area. –Chicago Tribune
  • That said, other types of protein — found in dairy, soy and other beans — have been shown to lower uric acid levels when compared to the protein found in meat and fish. –Chicago Sun Times
  • Earlier this month, the German press revealed that the diary from Adolf Hitler’s No. 2, Heinrich Himmler, had been discovered in a Moscow suburb. –The Wall Street Journal
  • Among her early achievements was finding a masterpiece amid the rejects: The Diary of Anne Frank, which had been published in Europe. –USA Today

Quiz: Diary vs. Dairy

Instructions: Fill in the blank with the correct word, either diary or dairy in the correct form.

  • One of the most famous _____________ is the _________ of Anne Frank, which has been published as a book.
  • Some people believe eggs are a __________ product, while others argue it doesn’t fit the definition.
  • Soy milk doesn’t taste like milk from the _________________ but it is still quite good.

See answers below.

Article Summary

Should I use dairy or diary? These words have similar spellings, but they are pronounced differently and have different meanings.

  • Dairy is related to milk and the production of milk.
  • Diary means a private book detailing one’s feelings and experiences.

There is no overlap between the definitions of dairy and diary and these two words can never be interchanged.


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