All - Every - Each

English Grammar


The difference between All, Every, and Each - Quick Explanation

All means the total number of people or things considered as a group.
Every means all members of a group considered individually.
Each means all members of a group considered individually though we think of them more one by one.

What is the difference between Each and Every?

Both Each and Every generally have the same meaning. They refer to all members of a group considered individually. Every is closer in meaning to All than Each is.

(= This book and that book and that book etc. of the group of books) We use each when we think of them more as one by one. There is a little less emphasis on the individual with Every when comparing it to Each.

However notice that every cannot be used when referring to two things and is not common with small numbers.

We cannot use Each with the words Almost or Nearly. Here we use Every.

More details about Every, Each and All…

-- EVERY --

Every refers to all members of a group though considered individually. It can be used to talk about three or more people/things.

Every + singular noun

The noun that comes after Every is in singular form.

Note, when you use every + noun as a subject, it uses a singular verb (verb + s)

Every + number + plural noun

Every can be followed by a plural noun when there is a number before that noun. This is common with periods of time or things at regular intervals.

We can also use every without a number and a singular noun to refer to regular intervals:



-- EACH --

Each refers to all members of a group though we think of them more one by one (individually). Each can be used to talk about two or more people/things.

Each + singular countable noun

You use a singular (countable) noun after the word Each.

Each + one

One can be used to replace the singular countable noun if it has already been mentioned.

Each of + determiner + plural noun

Each can be followed by a determiner (my, his, the, etc.) and a plural noun.

Notice how after each of the verb is usually in singular form though when speaking informally, you will sometimes hear a plural verb used.

Each of + pronoun (you/us/them)

We can only use the pronouns you/us/them after each of.

Again the verb following each of + pronoun should be in the singular form.

Each as a pronoun

Each can be used by itself (without a noun) as a pronoun.

Though it is more common to use each one instead of each by itself.

Noun/Pronoun + each

Each can be used after the noun (or pronoun) it describes.

Auxiliary Verb/To Be + each

Each can be used after an auxiliary verb or the verbs Are and Were.

Object + each

Instead of going before/after the subject, each can appear after the object.
This is common when the noun object refers to an amount, how many of something there is or when giving a price.



-- ALL --

All refers to the total number of people or things of a group. They are considered as a group and not individually. There are minimum three things in the group.

All + noun

We can use All with a plural noun to make a generalization about an entire group of something.

All + of + determiner + noun

The noun can be singular, plural or an uncountable noun. These nouns can also be replaced by pronouns.

Note that All of + singular noun is not common and Whole or Entire used instead of all of.

We can also remove OF before the determiner + noun (but we must use OF before a pronoun)

Pronoun + all

Sometimes you can place All after a pronoun to emphasize that every single one of that group is included.

Compare All vs. Each

All refers to the entire group as a whole. Each refers to the individual members of the group.

(= Goodbye John, goodbye Mary, goodbye Daniel… etc. until it has been said to ALL of the students individually… Yes, there is a lot of repetition)

(= Goodbye students … I just say goodbye once)

Compare All vs. Every

I simple way to remember is that All is with a plural noun + plural verb while Every is with a singular noun + singular verb. Every can also suggest “without exception”.

We can use All with uncountable nouns (and not Every).

Summary Chart

The difference between ALL, EVERY and EACH in English


Next activity

See our notes about every day vs. everyday and Every day vs all day


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