Each and Every

each_every

This post is based on a comment I made on a post on Google+.

‘Each’ and ‘every’ can be difficult to use as determiners. Here is a quick guide to help you.

Each has to be used with the singular form of a verb or ‘(one) of’ with plurals. It can be used with two or more things.

“Each of my friend’s arms is tattooed.”

“Each day I go to the shop I have to wait for it to open”

Every is used with three or more things and still uses the singular or ‘(one) of’ with plurals.

Correct sentences

“Every table leg is scratched.”

“Each table leg is scratched.”

“Every one of the table legs is scratched.”

“Each one of the table legs is scratched.”

Incorrect sentences

“Every one of my friend’s arms is tattooed.” is not correct unless your friend has more than two arms.

“Every one of the times I use this computer it crashes.” is not correct; use ‘time’ and omit ‘one of’.

“Each one of my parents is tall.” sounds strange; omit ‘one’. Most people have a small number of parents (between one or up to four in progressive families).

Summary

  • Each: 2 or more.
  • Every: 3 or more.
  • Singular nouns or ‘(one) of’ for both.

I hope this helps.