Each, Every

When do we use each and when every?

Each and every are quite similar words both normally used with singular nouns.

Each/Every time I see you, you look more beautiful.

However, each and every are not always interchangeable. There are situations where you can both can be used but with a slightly different meaning.

Use

  • each is used when we think of the person or things as individuals.
  • every is used when we think of the person or things as a unit.

        Every student will take the exam. They will each have a 15 minute interview.  

1. each

Here are situations where each can be used but not every.

1.1 can be used before an of-phrase followed by a pronoun or determiner.

Each of us has a different opinion.

I call each of my children weekly.

1.2.can be used for two persons or things

She had a child holding on to each hand.

1.3. can be used as a pronoun when there are more than two

The students were waiting for the test results. Each was equally nervous.

1.4. can be used before a verb

The students each received their results.

2. every

2.1. used for three or more persons or things

The teacher wants to speak to every student in his office.

2.2. has to be used before a noun

They enjoyed every minute of their time.

2.3. used for repeated actions

  • I do the same thing every day.
  • I have to go to hospital every six months.
  • Every now and again I wish I had taken the job.
  • There’s a train every thirty minutes.