Correct Use of “Each” and “Every”
Each and every must be used with countable nouns. Each is generally used to focus on the individual in a group of two or more, whereas every tends to connote an emphasis on an entire group of three or more.
“Each” or “Every”: Understanding the Difference
The line between each and every can be blurry. Sometimes, both words work in a given sentence. Other times, one word makes more sense than the other.
Below, we’ll elaborate on what these words mean and how to use them correctly.
What Do “Each” and “Every” Mean?
Each is a determiner—a word that identifies or qualifies a noun. It’s used when referring to one individual (person or thing) in a group of two or more.
Each season of the show has ten episodes.
Each can also function as a pronoun or adverb.
They each have their own car.
My brothers lost the bet and paid $25 each.
Every is also a determiner. When you want to emphasize the group as a whole rather than the individuals in the group, use every.
We enjoyed every second of the movie.
We enjoyed the entire movie.
Every doctor in that hospital is kind, compassionate, and caring.
All doctors in that hospital are kind, compassionate, and caring.
Every is also used to indicate how often something occurs.
The train stops every 30 minutes to let passengers off.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of these words, let’s go over how to use them correctly.
How To Correctly Use “Each” and “Every”
When deciding whether to use each or every, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
1. Is the noun countable?
Each and every can only be used with countable nouns.
Each tree is at risk of getting cut down.
Every tree is at risk of getting cut down.
Keep in mind that if the noun you’re referring to is in a group of only two, use each. In a group of three or more, both each and every work, which is why the sentences above are both grammatically correct.
Each and every cannot be used with uncountable nouns.
Every greenery is at risk of getting cut down. Each greenery is at risk of getting cut down.
2. Is the noun or subject singular or plural?
When placed before a singular noun, each and every are both correct. In this case, the verb that follows would also be singular.
Each day is special.
Every day is special.
However, only each can be used after a plural subject and would be followed by a plural verb form.
They each have their own office.
every have their own office.
The only time every can be used with a plural noun is if you use the phrase every one of.
Every one of the gift bags had cash.
Each of the and each one of can also be used with plural nouns.
Each of the gift bags had cash.
Each one of the gift bags had cash.
Every is always followed by a singular verb form.
Every dancer in the class is capable of learning the new routine.
3. Do you want to emphasize the individual or the group?
Remember, if you want to emphasize the individual, use each. If you want to bring attention to the group as a whole, use every.
Each and every is sometimes used to add emphasis.
- I love each and every one of my students.
Although it’s common in speech, it should be avoided in writing as it is considered redundant.
LanguageTool Corrects Each and Every Mistake
Yes, there’s a lot to consider when deciding whether to use each or every. Don’t be dismayed, though. The most important things to keep in mind are:
- If you want to emphasize the individual, use each. If you want to emphasize the group, use every.
- When used before a singular noun, each and every are followed by a singular verb.
- After a plural subject, only each can be used and is followed by a plural subject.
- Every is always followed by a singular verb.
- LanguageTool can ensure your writing remains flawless by correcting every type of error you can think of.