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 English Grammar for ESL learners 


EACH   -   EVERY

What is the difference and when do we use them?



Each and every are both determiners. They are used with singular nouns to indicate quantity.
Each and every are similar in meaning but they are not always interchangeable. There are important differences in meaning and usage.

  EACH 

Each expresses the idea of 'one by one'. It emphasises individuality.
  • Each can be used for two or more things or people.
    • Each employee received an invitation.
    • Each refugee received food and water.

  • Only each (not every) can be used with just two things.
    • He carried a book in each hand.

  • Each can be followed by 'of'.
    • A letter was sent to each of the firemen.
    • The actor replied to each of his fans.
    • A meal was served to each of the passengers.

  • Only each (not every) can be used as a pronoun.
    • The prize money was divided among the team members. Each received 10 000€
    • Both girls work. Each earns a good salary.
  EVERY 

Every refers to all the members of a complete group. Every indicates three or more things or people.
  • Every refers to all the members of a complete group.
    • Every pupil must wear a uniform.
    • Every book borrowed must be returned.
    • Every employee received a free copy.
  • Every is used to say how often something happens.
    • There is a train every 15 minutes.
    • The church bells ring every hour.
    • A news bulletin is published every morning.
  • Every is used with abstract nouns.
    • They have every reason to be satisfied.
    • Every weakness is noticed.
    • Every skill is precious.
  • Every is used with adverbs: almost, nearly, practically, etc.
    • Nearly every student passed the test.
    • Almost every member answered the questionnaire.
    • Practically every house today is connected to the Internet.
Each of us / every one of us:
We can use 'each of' + pronoun or 'each of' + determiner + noun
  • Each of us has a computer.
  • Each of the employees received a bonus at Christmas.
With 'every' we must use every one + pronoun or every one + determiner + noun:
  • Every one of us has a computer.
  • Every one of the employees received a bonus at Christmas.
Each and Every
It is common to see each and every used alongside one another for emphasis :
  • The manager will explain the situation to each and every one of you.

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