Language tip of the week: every

Posted by on October 25, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult. Here is some advice about using the pronoun every:

The pronoun every is usually used with a singular noun:

Every people has the right to live without fear of crime.
Every person has the right to live without fear of crime.
✗ You can’t blame the parents for every mistakes of their children.
✓ You can’t blame the parents for every mistake of their children.

However, plural nouns are used in these patterns, for talking about how often something happens:

▪  every few + plural noun
▪  every + number + plural noun

He pulled out his watch every few seconds.
On average, we meet for three hours every ten days.

If something happens each day, you say that it happens every day:

In the dry season, they move camp every day.

You can find advice about the differences between every day and everyday here.

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