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How to Use Distributives- Each, Every for English

Distributives- ‘Each, Every’

The English Language


The Explanation

Distributive words are generally used with singular nouns and are placed before the noun. ‘Each’ and ‘Every’ are distributive adjectives that are normally used with singular nouns. The Distributives are generally placed immediately before the nouns they qualify for.

e.g.:

  • Each girl wore a necklace.

  • Every person needs peace

‘Each’ can be used with plural nouns but must be followed by 'of'

e.g.:

  • Each of the children received a book



Difference between the distributives ‘each’ and ‘every’

1. The distributive “Each” is used to describe and highlight an individual member of a group, or multiple individuals. By using “each”, we recognize the noun in the sentence as a part of a group; however, it also needs to be pointed out as a singular item as well

e.g.:

  • Each book on the shelf is written by a different author

In the example above, “each book” shows that the noun “book” is a part of a plural group, and that attention is being drawn to each item within the group.

2. The distributive “Every” is used to refer to the group, as a collection of individual members.

e.g.:

  • Every student in the class had a new idea for the fest

In the example above “every student” shows that the noun “student” applies to a whole group of students

3. It is important to note here that both “each” and “every” can only be used with countable nouns.


How to use distributives each and every

  1. The distributive ‘Each’ is used when we are talking about the members of a group as individuals, while ‘every’ is used for a group as a series of members or groups.

2. Both the distributives ‘each’ and ‘every’ can only be used with countable nouns. They are normally used with singular nouns and are placed before the noun. In many cases, they are interchangeable as well.

e.g.:

  • Each boy was given a clue to solve the puzzle

  • Each of the girls was told the rules

  • Each child received a gift

  • Every child received a gift


  1. ‘Each’ can also be used with plural nouns and pronouns but must be followed by 'of'; whereas ‘Every’ cannot be used with plural nouns.

e.g.:

  • Each of the boys received a book.

  • I gave each of the girls some advice.

  • He told each of us our roles.

  • I gave each of them a chocolate


  1. ‘Every’ can be used to express different points in a series, especially with time expressions. ‘Each’ also works in the same way but is less common.

e.g.:

  • Every evening Clara goes running.

  • This magazine is published every month.

  • I go visit my aunt each week.

  • Each Sunday he goes to the play in church










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