Stationary versus Stationery

Stationary versus Stationery

The words stationary and stationery sound identical but they are separated by one alphabet and this seemingly small difference can change the entire meaning. Let us see the difference between Stationary versus Stationery.

Stationary means fixed in one place or not moving, it can be used as an adverb or an adjective.


  • We had to wait patiently in a stationary position for the assembly to start. (Adjective)
  • We had to wait stationary for the assembly to start. (Adverb)

Stationery refers to material and supplies that is used in writing and in the schools and offices. Such as, pens, books, notepad, stapler etc. The person who sells stationery is called a stationer.


  • If you go to the stationery please get me a register.

Stationery can also be used as a noun or an adjective.

  • You were in charge of bringing in the stationery this month. (Noun)
  • You were in charge of filling up the stationery cupboard this month. (Adjective)

You can remember the difference between these two words by remembering this little trick, let the ‘a’ in stationary stand for ‘at rest’ and let the ‘e’ in stationery stand for ‘envelope’.

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