the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

each, every

The quantifiers each and every are a kind of determiner. They have similar but not always identical meanings. We always use them with a singular countable noun.

Each means "every one, regarded individually".

Every means "every one, regarded as a whole".

Sometimes, each and every have the same meaning:

  • Prices go up each year.
  • Prices go up every year.

But often they are not exactly the same.

Each expresses the idea of "one by one". It emphasizes individuality.

Every is half-way between each and all. It sees things or people as singular, but in a group or in general.

Consider the following example sentences:

  • Every artist is sensitive.
  • Each artist sees things differently.
  • Every soldier saluted the president as he arrived.
  • The president gave each soldier a medal.

each

Each can be followed by "of":

  • The president spoke to each of the soldiers.
  • He gave a medal to each of them.

every

Every cannot be used for two things. For two things, each can be used:

  • He was carrying a suitcase in each hand.
  • every

Every is used to say how often something happens:

  • There is a plane to Bangkok every day.
  • The bus leaves every hour.
Verbs with each and every are always conjugated in the singular:
  • Each person is an individual. not Each person are an individual.
  • Every animal needs food. not Every animal need food.