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Every, Each

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Every and each are used with singular (countable) ‘count’ nouns. It is useful to remember which nouns are ‘count’ (countable) and ‘non-count’ (uncountable) first:

Countable and uncountable nouns

Countable nouns or ‘count’ nouns are those nouns that can be counted:
An apple, two apples etc.

Uncountable nouns or ‘non-count’ nouns are those nouns that cannot be counted: water, bread etc. Uncountable nouns take a singular verb and are not used with a/an.

Uncountable nouns can be divided into different groups:

Mass nouns: fruit juice, butter, sugar, rice, sand, etc.
Study subjects: physics, chemistry, mathematics (maths), history etc.
Sports: football, rugby, basketball etc.
Languages: English, Italian, Dutch, Arabic etc.
Diseases: influenza, malaria, asthma etc.
Natural phenomena: rain, snow, mist etc.
Collective nouns: money, baggage, furniture, etc.
other nouns: information, accommodation, anger, luck, love, etc.

We use each when we refer to two people or things. We use every when we refer to three or more people or things.
She was wearing a bracelet on each arm and she had a ring on every finger.

Everyone, everybody, everything and everywhere are used in affirmative and negative sentences, and in interrogatives. These pronouns are followed by a singular verb.

We normally use every when we refer to people or things in a group to mean ‘all’.
Every person in the room was listening to the presentation. (all the people in the room)
However we use each when we refer to people or things separately, one at a time.
He addressed each member of the team. (one member at a time)

We use every to show how frequent something is:
There is a bus that leaves every hour.

Every is used with these words or expressions:

Almost, nearly, practically and without exception.
In Malta it gets extremely hot every summer.

Lesson by EC Malta teacher Tristan, Learn English in Malta

Decide which is correct in the following:

  • 1) He bought a present for ___ in the family.



  • 2) I couldn’t find a taxi so I walked for an hour with a heavy bag in ___ hand.



  • 3) ___ house in the street where I live has a garden.



  • 4) They've gone skiing almost ___ winter for the last ten years.



  • 5) The new recruits were ___ given a laptop when they started working.



  • 6) ___ time I go on holiday I buy a mug from each city I visit.



  • 7) They go to the cinema practically ___ weekend.



  • 8) My neighbour has a tattoo covering ___ arm.