each, every

When do we use each and when every?

The words each and every have similar meanings.

Each/Every time I go to work, the red car is parked in front of the office.

But each and every are not always interchangeable. There are situations where you can either use each or every.

Use

  • each is used when you see the persons in a group as individuals.
  • every is used when you see the persons in a group as a unit.

1 each

The word each can be used alone or before an of-phrase.

1.1.can be used for two persons or things

There are two boys. Each is smiling.

1.2. can be used as a pronoun

There are 5 worksheets. Please take one of each.

1.3. can be used before a verb

The students each received a free copy of the magazine.

2. every

2.1. used for three or more persons or things

The manager wants to speak to every employee in his office.

2.2. has to be used before a noun

They enjoyed every minute of their holidays.

2.3. used for repeated actions

  • I get up at 6 o'clock every morning.
  • The show will be broadcast every other Monday.
  • Every time I go shopping I choose the wrong queue.
  • There's a tram every ten minutes.

3. Singular or plural and each, every

  • If each is used after a subject in the plural (the girls), the verb is used in the plural (have):
    • The girls each have written an e-mail.
    • The girls each have written e-mails.
  • If every should be used in this sentence, the singular of the verb is used (has):
    • Every girl has written an e-mail.