What’s the difference between anniversary and birthday?

This week we are looking at two words which are sometimes confused: anniversary and birthday.

anniversary

An anniversary is a date when you remember something special that happened on that date in an earlier year.

It’s our wedding anniversary today.

They celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

birthday

You refer to the anniversary of the date when you were born as your birthday.

On my twelfth birthday I received a letter from my father.

My daughter’s birthday is 10th December.


Find out more in our English Usage article.

This blogpost is based on Collins COBUILD English Usage, written for learners of English. For more examples of English usage points, please visit:  https://grammar.collinsdictionary.com/english-usage.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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