Which is correct? To say that I write a blog post for Grammar Hammer each week or to say that I write a post for Grammar Hammer every week?
“Every” is used to talk about how often something happens. If I say I write something on a weekly basis, I’m saying I write something “every week.”
You should also use every when the number being referenced is indefinite. Think of it as being half way between each and all. “Every” sees things as singular, but as part of a group (e.g., every house).
“Each” is used to emphasize individuality. If I’m trying to make the point that I stop at each neighbor’s house on Halloween to collect candy, I’m trying to emphasize the number of houses.
Here’s one quick way I remember which word to use. If I’m only talking about two things, I need to use the word “each.” It doesn’t make much sense for me to say, “I don’t go walking in the woods after dark unless I have a flashlight in every hand.”
- Use “each” when you need a determiner like “of” before an object pronoun. For instance, you can’t say “every of.”
- Use “every” when you are using an abstract noun. Example: You have every reason to be happy.
- Use a determiner with “each” or “every”.
So, remember, each person is unique. Every person sees things differently.
Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire. A version of this post originally appeared on Beyond PR.