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Learn English: Each and every

Balancing rocks
Balancing every rock.

Flickr CC: James Jordan

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The meanings of 'each' and 'every' are very similar. Often you could use either word, but there are also cases where there are differences. Let's take a closer look at the two words to learn how to use them.

If we say:

"Each rock is balanced perfectly."

"Every rock is balanced perfectly."

Both sentences are correct.

However, in some cases there is a difference between the meanings.

We use 'each' when we think of the single items in a group, one by one:

"They gave a trophy to each member of the winning team."

We use 'every' when we think of the items in a group together: 

"I believed every word that he said."

'Each' can refer to two items, while 'every' cannot:

"She kissed him on each cheek."

Trophies
A trophy for each person.

Flickr CC: Brad.K

We can use 'each of' but we cannot use 'every of':

"When the students won the competition, each of them was given a prize."

'Each' can be used after the subject, or at the end of a sentence:

"The researchers each received an award."

"The researchers received an award each."

Repeated actions are generally described with 'every':

"I play the guitar every day."

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