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Lesson 12.2

Each vs. Every

Each vs. Every
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“Each” and “every” are two words frequently confused by English language learners. At times, they can mean the same thing. At other times, there is a subtle difference in meaning. Both “each” and “every” are used as determiners to specify quantity, but only “each” can also be used as a pronoun.


“Each” emphasizes every one individually or separately, as in “one by one”.Each” can be used in front of a verb and is used when referring to two things or people.


 Each student will receive a different theme for their final project.
 We each took turns making dinner while our mother was away.
 There are holes in each sock.

Each” can be used with the preposition “of”. In this construction, “each of” is followed by a pronoun or a noun with a determiner.


 Each of them is expected to do well on the exam.
 Each of his sisters received a new car for their graduation, so he expects one too.

Each”, unlike “every”, can also be used as an indefinite pronoun.


 The whole office is playing the lottery this week and each has an equal chance of winning.
 I like both dresses, but each costs more than I want to spend.


By using “every”, we emphasize the group and can only be used with groups of three or more people or things.Every” is used to generalize or to express how often something happens and is always followed by a noun.


 Every student will be given a project to complete by the end of the semester.
 I don’t know, but every summer it just seems to get hotter and hotter.
 We have practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year.
 They suggest you have your teeth cleaned once every six months.

Every” can be used with abstract nouns, but not “each”.


 I have every reason to believe that it will happen.
I have each reason to believe that it will happen.

Every” can be used with adverbs.


 Almost every answer was incorrect.
 We go to California to visit our grandparents nearly every summer.

Note: Verbs used with “each” and “every” are always in the singular.

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