One of the reasons why the English language is considered a complex language is because it often has elements that overlap the job of other elements or do the exact same job.
If you are an English learner, it is impossible that you haven’t been dealt with the dilemma of using each or every. Most English learners get confused when it comes to using each and every in a sentence as they often seem to be doing the same thing in a sentence and are often used interchangeably.
This is what calls the need for us to understand the difference between each and every and learn exactly when they are used in a sentence and how each is different from every in English.
Both each and every refer to all the members of a group. But how they refer to the members of a group/set is what creates the difference between each and every.
Let’s understand the difference by starting with ‘each.
When to use each in a sentence?
The word each is used in a sentence to refer to all members of a group individually. Please note that it puts emphasis on the individual members rather than the entire group.
When a speaker uses the word ‘each’ in a sentence, they think of the individual members of the group that is referred to. The focus is put on the individual members separately.
Let’s take some examples to understand the use of each better.
Ashish wants to give each student an opportunity to showcase their talent.
In this example, the speaker is referring to individual members of the group (students). When saying this, the speaker has the image of individual members in his mind. He does not refer to the entire group as a whole. The attention is given to the individual members, not the group.
This is exactly where the difference between each and every is created. The word every refers to all the members of a group, but as a whole.
More examples of each in a sentence:
- There are 20 students in the group, and Ashish sir met each of us personally.
- The management congratulates each person on the team for giving their remarkable contributions to this project.
- The company is giving each of us a new phone at the end of this month.
When to use every in a sentence?
The word every is used in a sentence to refer to all members of a group as a whole/set. The person using it sees the entire group as a whole in their mind when using it, which is contrary to what happens when using each.
Use every when you are focusing on the entire group/set as a whole, referring to all the members being a part of it. Use it when you want to make it about the group, not the individual members.
Ashish knows every professor at the college.
In this example, the speaker uses every to refer to a group of people (professors at a certain college). He refers to all the professors at the college as a whole. When he says this, he has the picture of all professors in his head.
If he wanted to focus on individual professors and wanted to see them in his mind individually, he would use ‘each’ to do the same.
This little difference is what separates each from every in grammar.
More examples of every in a sentence:
- Every team has been paid very well for the tournament.
- I have watched every one of your videos. They all are great.
- With the goal of transforming every person in the country, Nanda started going to different cities and giving Satsang.
The difference between each and every
|Basis of difference||Each||Every|
The word ‘each’ can function as both an adjective (distributive adjective) and a pronoun (distributive pronoun), but ‘every’ only functions as an adjective.
Ex – 1. Each fighter on the card is going to be paid 100k dollars. (distributive adjective)
Ex – 2. Each of us will have to pay 100 dollars for the damage we have caused.
( distributive pronoun)
|Ex – 1. We deeply care about every customer we have. (distributive adjective)|
Ex – 2. Every person he has been with hates him. (distributive adjective)
The word each refers to the members of a group individually and every refers to them as a whole.
Ex – 1. I appreciate each of you for what you have done for the company.
Ex – 2. Each team has been allowed a separate place to stay.
Ex – 1. I was appreciated by every person in the audience.
Ex – 2. Every artist deserves to be respected equally.
Number of people
Use ‘each’ to refer to a group of at least 2 people or things.
|Use ‘every’ to refer to at least 3 people or things.|
As an adjective: each + noun
As a pronoun, it stands alone or has a prepositional phrase (of + plural objective pronoun) after it.
1. Each person, each candidate, each part…
2. Each of us, each of them…
|As an adjective: every + noun|
Examples: every man, every movie, every time…
NOTE: It is not used as a pronoun.
When to use each and every?
The word each is used to refer to all the members of a group individually, and every is used to refer to all the members/items of a group as a whole.
What is the main difference between each and every?
The main difference between each and every is that the word ‘each’ focuses on all the members of a group individually (focusing on each one of them separately), and the word every refers to all the members of a group, focusing on all of them as one, as a group.
Is every plural or singular?
The word ‘every’ is considered singular and takes a singular noun after it. Ex – Every person at the party looked shocked to see me there.
How do you use every in a sentence?
Every person should start working after passing out of college. The word ‘every’ works as a distributive adjective in a sentence. It takes a singular noun after it.
Can I use every with plural?
No, we can’t use every with a plural noun. In the structure ‘every + one + of + plural objective personal pronoun (us/them)’, it has a plural pronoun at the end. Ex – Every one of us made a mistake in the game.
Is each and every one of us correct?
Both the expressions ‘each of us’ and ‘every one of us’ exist in grammar and are used in different situations. 1. Every one of us has the ability to crack this. 2. Each one of us will be called upon the stage to speak.
Is it every teacher has or have?
Every takes a singular verb. Ex – Every teacher has a soft corner for their students.
Now, we know what the difference between each and every is and everything about them. Feel free to share your question, doubt, or feedback in the comment section, and also, share the post with the people that need it.
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