Each vs Every – Confusing English Words

Michael Confusing Words Leave a Comment


Every day at Happy English, I have a lot of students to meet and English lessons to teach. Each student is at a different point in their English learning adventure, and I do my best to make sure that I prepare lessons to help each of them. Every lesson is different, just like each student is different. It takes a lot of work, time and effort to manage such a teaching system, but every one of my students is special to me, and I want to help each person succeed!

For today’s English lesson, I want to show you the difference between each and every. Have a look at the paragraph above once more, and then take a look at the lesson.

In many general situations, we use each and every with the same meaning. This is most common when we talk about time:

  • Jack works hard each day.
  • Jack works hard every day.
  • Each year, we get older and wiser.
  • Every year, we get older and wiser.

That said, we generally tend to use each when we think of things individually or separately:

  • Each pen has the company logo on it. The pens one by one have the company logo.
  • Each student will have an opportunity to talk to the teacher. Who wants to go first?

However, we generally tend to use every when we think of things as part of a group, similar to the way we use all:

  • Every person on the tour receives a hat and a rain poncho.
  • Every guest at the party had fun.

We also use each, and not every, when we talk about two things:

  • The bank robber held a gun in each hand. Not….in every hand.
  • Married life is sometimes not easy. Each person needs to compromise at some point.

We also use each, and not every, before of:

  • Each of these pens has the company logo on it.
  • Each of you should follow me.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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