Difference between e-mail or email

The distinction between E-mail and Email essentially boils down to a matter of style and evolution in language use rather than a difference in meaning or function. Both terms refer to electronic mail, a method of sending messages via electronic devices. Over time, language and usage have evolved, leading to the preference for one form over the other in various contexts.

Quick Facts Table

DefinitionElectronic mail, messages sent and received electronically.Same as E-mail, without the hyphen.
UsageInitially more common, following traditional compound noun formatting.Gained popularity for its simplicity and is now the predominant form.
Inclusion in DictionariesBoth forms are recognized by major dictionaries.Both forms are recognized by major dictionaries.
FormalityConsidered slightly more formal in some contexts.Seen as more modern and is widely accepted in all contexts.

Difference Between E-mail OR Email

Definition of E-mail

E-mail (with a hyphen) is the traditional form of the term, emphasizing the “electronic” nature of the mail. It signifies messages that are sent and received electronically, utilizing a network such as the Internet.

Definition of Email

Email (without the hyphen) refers to the same concept of electronic mail. The dropping of the hyphen reflects a common trend in English where compounds become closed over time, especially with technological terms becoming more familiar.

Origin of E-mail

The term E-mail originated in the 1970s, with the hyphen signifying the electronic aspect of the mail. It was a new concept at the time, hence the emphasis on its electronic nature.

Origin of Email

As E-mail became a fundamental part of daily communication, the term evolved into Email. This transition reflects a general linguistic pattern where new or foreign terms become more streamlined as they become integrated into common usage.


  • E-mail: /ˈiːmeɪl/
  • Email: /ˈiːmeɪl/

Both terms are pronounced the same way, indicating that the distinction is purely orthographic.

Comparing E-mail and Email

The comparison between E-mail and Email is largely a reflection of the evolution of language in the digital age. As digital communication became ubiquitous, the simpler form (Email) became more common, reflecting its integration into everyday language.

FormalitySeen as slightly more formal or traditional.Accepted as the modern standard.
UsageMore common in earlier digital communication literature.Predominantly used in contemporary contexts.
PreferencePreference varies by individual and institutional style guides.Generally preferred in most modern digital communications.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of E-mail in Sentences

  1. I received your E-mail about the meeting schedule.
    • Here, E-mail is used in a slightly more formal or traditional context.
  2. Please send me the report via E-mail.
    • Reflects the traditional use of E-mail for official or formal communication.
  3. His E-mail address is on his business card.
    • Indicates the use of E-mail in professional settings.
  4. I check my E-mail first thing every morning.
    • Shows personal use, illustrating that E-mail is still commonly used.
  5. The company’s E-mail policy is very strict.
    • Refers to formal rules or guidelines surrounding E-mail use within an organization.

Use of Email in Sentences

  1. Can you email me the details?
    • Here, Email is used verbosely, indicating its common usage in everyday language.
  2. I’ll send you an Email with the attachments.
    • Reflects the modern, streamlined form of electronic communication.
  3. Her Email went to my spam folder by mistake.
    • Shows the informal and commonplace nature of Email.
  4. I use several Email apps to manage my correspondence.
    • Indicates the integration of Email into daily digital life.
  5. Email marketing is an essential tool for our business.
    • Highlights Email as a key component in contemporary business strategies.


While E-mail and Email refer to the same method of electronic communication, the usage of the term has evolved, with Email becoming the more commonly accepted form. This evolution reflects broader trends in language simplification and adaptation as digital technologies become woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “Email” now more correct than “E-mail”?
    • Both forms are correct, but Email is more commonly used and accepted in contemporary language.
  • Why did the hyphen get dropped from “E-mail”?
    • Dropping the hyphen from E-mail to form Email reflects a natural linguistic trend towards simplification as terms become more familiar.
  • Do style guides agree on the use of “Email” over “E-mail”?
    • Style guides have increasingly favored Email due to its prevalence in modern usage, though some may still recommend E-mail for formal writing.
  • Can “Email” be used as a verb?
    • Yes, Email is frequently used as a verb in everyday communication.
  • Are there any contexts where “E-mail” is still preferred?
    • In some formal or traditional contexts, E-mail might still be preferred, though this is becoming less common.

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