This post is intended to explain how to use every in common English to help avoid simple errors.


What does every refer to?

Every is a common word used in the English language, it is in fact a noun subject or a pronoun. It is used to define something as a group or a series of individuals and, in fact, is preferable in modern English to other common forms like all + plural noun.


Each and every are often confused. Each is used to refer to things as individuals, whereas every refers to the group or series of individuals as a whole. An example of this would be Each time you ask me this, I get annoyed. Meaning the individual instances. Every time you ask me this, I get annoyed.


How is it used?

We use every + a singular nouns:

Every person – all the people

Every time – all the times

Every week – all the weeks


Indefinite pronouns:

Everyone/body – all the people

Everywhere – all the places

Everything – all the things


Time expressions:

Every day – all the days

Every week – all the weeks

Every month – all the month

Every year – all the years


Be careful: every day and everyday are different

We use every day as a time expression at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. For instance, I go to the supermarket every day.

We use everyday as an adjective. it means something normal. For example, It is an everyday activity.


all day and every day are very different

all day = the entire day, the whole day

every day = each individual day as a group


The difference between all and every + nouns

The meaning of all and every are in essence the same. All is slightly more formal, but the main difference is the use of language. We use all + plural or uncountable nouns, whereas we use every + singular nouns. Study the examples.

All repairs will be made in the near future. 

All kit must be put back in its place. kit is uncountable

Every moment with your family should be cherished. A moment is a singular noun


All + preposition

We can use all of + pronoun/possessive adjective

All of you should follow the rules. Not Every of you

All or your assignments will be corrected in good time. Not Every of your assignments


Take home message

So this post has highlighted some of the typical errors that you may commit. Try to avoid them by having a go at our exercise in PDF


Try this exercise:



  1. It would be great if I could get _____ of the information before we started.
  2. _____ person at the party was having a great time.
  3. Why are you complaining _____ the time?
  4. _____ September we start a new school term.
  5. I can’t help but get irritated _____ time you interrupt me.
  6. If _____ employee tries to speak at the same time, this will take forever.
  7. I have enjoyed _____ single year I have spent with you.
  8. Not _____ student needs to the final exam.
  9. I only buy new shoes _____ now and then.
  10. I want to thank each and _____ one of you that has turned up to class today.
  11. I only go into the office _____ other day.
  12. Would you be quiet, please? And I mean, _____ of you.
  13. _____ week, we get our food shopping delivered.
  14. _____ equipment needs to be stored in its place.
  15. _____ for one and one for _____.
  16. We spend _____ day at the beach.
  17. _____ thing is going to be _____ right.
  18. Time will give us _____ a chance to recover.




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