Grammar 101: Each or Every?

Do I even English?

If you’re a native English speaker like me , you probably just write without thinking. The rules of English that you absorbed as a child and at school are never questioned. You speak the way you were taught and know something is right because it sounds right.

It’s only when you are asked a question (often by a small human or someone whose first language isn’t English) that you can start to doubt yourself.

When they ask you to clarify something, for example, when to use ‘each’ and  when to use ‘every’, you can tie yourself up in knots, scratch your head and wonder ‘Do I even English?’

But relax, help is at hand.

This short article will help you remember when to use ‘each’ and when to use ‘every’ every time.

When do we use ‘each’?

Each is used when we are talking about individuals in a group of two.

For example, ‘Each twin enjoys the free-dress days.’

You will see that ‘each’ takes the singular verb ‘enjoys’ as we are talking about individuals in a group of two (in this case, twins).

When do we use ‘every’?

We use ‘every’ when we are talking about individuals in a group of three or more.

For example, ‘Every child in the grade enjoys the free-dress days.’

You will see that ‘every’ takes the singular verb ‘enjoys’ as we are talking about individuals in a group of three or more (in this case, the whole grade).

 

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