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Stationary vs. Stationery – Common English Mistakes

Stationary vs. Stationery – The words stationary and stationery often cause confusion among both English learners and native speakers. They’re homophones, which means they have the same pronunciation.

The only difference between these two words is the fact that one is spelt with an “a”, and the other is spelt with an “e” – Yet they both have two entirely different meanings. 

In this post, we take a look at the different meanings and example sentences, as well as handy tips to help avoid confusing the two. 


Stationary is an adjective.

Meaning: Not moving; unchanging in condition

  • She crashed into a stationary vehicle at the side of the road.
  • The doctors said that his condition was stationary.

Here are some common stationary collocation sentences from

  • stationary traffic [on the highway]
  • [collided with, crashed into] a stationary vehicle
  • [remain seated, wait] until the [vehicle, bus, aircraft] is stationary
  • the traffic is stationary [in the city center, on the highway, around the stadium]
  • lying stationary [on the ground, in the road]
  • [hit, aim at, miss] a stationary target
  • a stationary [price, rate, tariff]
  • the [price] [is, has become] stationary
  • [prices] have remained stationary [for six months, since last July]
  • a stationary [level, amount, volume] (of)
  • a stationary [source, target, point, reference]


Stationery is a noun and an adjective.

Meaning: Writing materials and office supplies

  • I own a stationery company that focuses mostly on supplying schools.
  • There’s hardly any stationery left.

Here are some common stationery collocation sentences from


  • a store that sells stationery
  • the store sells [school, home, office, business] stationery
  • the store specializes in stationery
  • need to order more stationery
  • stationery and office supplies
  • stationery for [journaling, scrapbooking]
  • on [his personal, the company] stationery
  • print custom stationery
  • personalized stationery


  1. a stationery [supplier, set, store]
  2. stationery [products, supplies]
Stationary vs. Stationery
Stationary vs. Stationery – Common English Mistake

Want to make sure you understand the difference between Stationary vs. stationery? Practice making a sentence with these words below in the comments.

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