Main Difference: Aid and Aide is a word pair that often creates confusions in many English learners. The main difference between Aid and Aide is that aid is a verb meaning to help or to give assistance while aide is a noun that refers to a person who is acting as an assistant or a helper.
Aid – Meaning and Usage
Aid is a verb that refers to the act of assistance or help in the achievement of something. That is, it is synonymous with help and assist. The examples below will give you a clearer idea about the usage of this verb.
“We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
“She was aided in childbirth by the midwife.”
“You can quit smoking by making use of the countless support networks available to aid you in the battle to quit.”
In some instances, Aid also refers to promoting or encouraging something. However, this meaning is not very common in usage.
“Healthy teeth mean that the child is able to eat a healthy diet, and aid the growth of the jaw.”
“Diet and exercise aid healthy skin.”
Aid can also be used as a noun. As a noun, it is synonymous with help or support. Aid generally refers to help of a practical nature. It is often used to refer to a financial or material help given to a country.
“He saw that she was in trouble and went to her aid.”
“She walked with the aid of a stick.”
“Our organization specializes in bringing food and other material aid to war-torn areas.”
“The scientist studied the new compound with the aid of a microscope.”
Aide – Meaning and Usage
Aide is a noun that refers to a person who is acting as a helper or an assistant. This word is used mostly used in political or military setting. Always remember that aide refers to a person.
“He worked as a presidential aide for 6 years.”
“He has inexperienced aides working in his political office.”
“Edmund was her aide and helped her to do her work.”
Aide is also used as a short version for aide-de-camp. Aide-de-camp is a military officer acting as a confidential assistant to a senior officer.
“In December 1775, he was aide (aide-de-camp) to General Washington.”
“General McGregor and his aides told the whole truth before the military court.”
Difference between Aid and Aide
Aid: Aid is the act of helping or supporting someone to achieve something.
Aide: Aide is a job title; it means an assistant or a helper to an important person.
Aid: Aid can be used as a verb and a noun.
Aide: Aide is a noun.
Aid: As a noun aid refers to the concept of help.
Aide: Aide refers to a person.
Aid: This is used in general context.
Aide: This is specially used in military and political context.
aid. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 09 September 2015.
“Michelle Obama’s aide wearing a radio” by Pete Souza – White House Flickr account. (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons