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It is common to find many non-English speakers working to improve their communication skills and strive for perfection due to the various opportunities available to their speakers. However, despite the English language’s popularity, it is ranked one of the most complicated languages to learn, especially for speakers whose native language is quite different from English, having almost nothing in common.

One of the most commonly confused cases of similar yet strikingly different words used in English is each vs. every. The words “each” and “every” pose a solid obstacle for English learners and even native speakers, as it is pretty tricky to use in sentences.

Understanding these words’ semantics will make all the difference, as you will better grasp how the words were made to function in sentences. With that said, this blog article contains a detailed explanation of when to use “each” and “every,” so if you wish to understand the meaning, difference, and rules of usage, whether in writing or speech, keep reading.

The meaning of “each”

“Each” can be referred to as a determiner that qualifies or identifies a noun. In simpler terms, each is used when talking about individuals or items (nouns) in a group of two or more; here are a few examples.

The players on each team have a part to play.
The artist said that each piece created took at least three months to complete.
Each seat in the stadium has been numbered, said the manager.
Each of you has to bring letters signed by your parents.

These are examples of using each to address individuals in a group, singling them out, and not talking about the group. If only two items are in the group, each should be replaced with both to discuss the items or individuals.

Both of you have to bring letters signed by your parents.
Both groups of practical students have turned in their reports.

The meaning of “every”

“Every” is also a determinant, and their meanings and functions are similar yet different. “Every” refers to groups of two or more items. The word functions to talk about groups containing at least three items, unlike “each,” which only allows for two groups. Here are a few examples of how every is used in sentences.

Every carpenter in the state has a license.
Every student is required to have their ID cards on at all times.
Everyone is waiting for the band’s next album.

A convenient replacement for every in your sentences is “all,” which also has the same meaning and delivers the same message, but the nouns have to be in their plural forms when you use them.

All carpenters in the state have a license.
All students are required to have their ID cards on at all times.

Each vs. Every in sentences

The significant difference between the words “each and every” is that the first one refers to or describes at least two or more people or items in a pair or group, while “every” is only used when the group contains at least three or more people or items.

He bought his brothers a pair of sneakers each.

Indeed, using each vs. every in a sentence can be tricky until you understand when and where the words are needed, which is usually based on the nouns used in the sentence. So here are things to consider:

1.      Using a countable noun: “Each and every” can only be paired with countable nouns like chairs, apples, and goats.

Give an apple to each child.
Every teacher should be granted access to loans after four years of service.

2.      The main focus is on the individual or the group: “Each” addresses individuals in a group, while “every” focuses on the whole group. E.g.

For each class, the assignment was to build a statue.
Everyone in the class had to work together to build the statue.

3.      Whether the noun/subject is singular or plural: “each” and “every” would be correct when using a singular noun. However, for plural noun forms, only each can be used in such sentences, e.g.

Each musician is gifted in their genre. (singular)
Every musician is gifted in their genre. (singular)
Each of the students owns a desk. (plural)
Every of the students owns a desk. (plural)

Every can only be used alongside singular nouns, but each can be used with singular and plural nouns.

The difference between “each time” and “every time”

Figuring out when to use the phrases “each time” or “every time” can be another tricky topic. But having learned the difference between each and every, it is easier to address this confusion. “Each time” and “every time” are used to talk about the number of times an activity is performed; these phrases are used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

Using every time implies the collective number of times an action was made.

Every time I take a walk in the morning, I feel much lighter.

While each time signifies the individual times, the action is made instead of collectively.

Each time I take a walk in the morning, I feel much lighter.

Although they have the same meaning, English speakers often use them differently; “each time” is commonly associated with negative contexts or complaints.

Each time she talks to the manager, he tries to convince her to work more hours.


The primary reasons for this difficulty in the English language lie in the complex grammar rules, pronunciation variations, vast vocabulary, grammar exceptions, irregularities, and the similarities between various words.

However, learning to define “each and every” undoubtedly gives a better perspective of what to pay attention to while constructing sentences with these words. English is not the most straightforward, but you can become a better English speaker or writer with time, patience, and consistency.

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