The differences between Each and Every

English Grammar 6 May 2010 | 3 Comments

Here are 2 words that have almost the same meanings, but you cannot always use either one. Below are some rules for their uses.

Each – both (2 or more objects or people)
Every – all (3 or more objects or people)

Here is an example of when they have almost the same meaning:

I go to the festival every year.
I go to the festival each year.
The difference of the 2 sentences is that in the first sentence with every, we are thinking of the festivals in total. In the 2nd sentence with each, we are thinking of them more individually.

Here are some examples of when you can use only one or the other:

My kids each received a present. (Each is used before a verb.)
My kids every received a present. Incorrect

Santa gave a present to each of them. (Each is used before of.)
Santa gave a present to every of them. Incorrect (However, you can put β€˜one’ after every and then it is okay. Santa gave a present to every one of them.)

He was using each hand equally. (Each used to describe 2 things.)
He was using every hand equally. Incorrect

Once every 2 weeks, I go to the doctor. (Referring to a regular event).
Once each 2 weeks, I go to the doctor. Incorrect

3 Responses on “The differences between Each and Every”

  1. Ellie says:

    You are a quick worker, aren’t you? πŸ™‚ Thank you for posting, Yvonne! I got it, they have almost the same meanings in the sentence with each year or every year.

    How about “You should do your homework” with every day or each day?

  2. Yvonne says:

    I think both are fine – each and every both work. They just mean slightly different things. I’m glad you liked the post!

  3. hamids says:

    go to the festival every year.
    I go to the festival each year.
    doesn’t ‘each ‘ modifies ‘year’ as against ‘festival’ as you have explained

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