Each, every, all

English grammar (See all)

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Each, every, all

Each and every can mean 'each one', 'every one' or 'all':

•  EACH is used when all cases are considered separately:
Each of them is extremely qualified. They are all extremely qualified.
(or Each one of them...)
Each day is an adventure. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all adventures.
I spoke to each individually. I spoke to all the people individually.

•  EVERY is used when we are referring to a group:
Every employee must wash his or her hands after using the bathroom. All employees must wash their hands after using the bathroom.
I brush my teeth every day. I brush my teeth Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Every day I learn something new. I learn something new all the time.
Everyone I know is dead or in prison. All the people I know are either dead or in prison.

Each and every are always used with singular subjects. Therefore they cannot precede the word people (We cannot say every people or each people but instead we say all the people or everybody).

Nevertheless, it is possible to substitute the singular subject associated with each or every for the subject they or the adjective their, to avoid he or she constructions, his or her constructions are more precise:
Every employee must wash their hands after using the bathroom.


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