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Every One and Everyone (The Difference)

The Quick Answer
Every one is similar in meaning to each one. With every one, the word one represents a nearby noun. For example:
  • I know every one of my cows by name.
  • (Here, one represents the noun cow.)
With every one, you can nearly always insert the word single. For example:
  • I know every single one of my cows by name.
Everyone is similar in meaning to everybody. For example:
  • Is everyone happy?

Every One and Everyone

There is often confusion over every one and everyone.

Every One

Every One (two words) can usually be substituted with each one. (In this expression, the word every is an adjective which modifies the indefinite pronoun one.) Try substituting the every one in these examples with each one:
  • Every one of those ideas is valuable.
  • I want every one of those picking up before lunch.
  • You can kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds, you will lose and we will win. (Ho Chi Minh)

Everyone

Everyone (one word) is similar to everybody. (Everyone is an indefinite pronoun.)

Try substituting the everyone in these examples with everybody:
  • Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one should be idolized. (Albert Einstein)
  • Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. (Margaret Mead)
Quick Test
Select the correct version:



 

Top Tip

Do the "Single" Test

Put the word single between every and one. If your sentence sounds perfectly fine, then you should using every one. This works because every single one is nearly always a perfect replacement for every one.
  • I want every one of those picking up before lunch.
  • I want every single one of those picking up before lunch.
  • (In this example, one represents the words boy.
Note

One is an Indefinite Pronoun

The word one in every one is an indefinite pronoun. This means it will be representing the idea expressed by nearby noun. For example:
  • Every one of those ideas is potentially valuable.
  • (In this example, one represents the word idea.)
Sometimes, the word one represents a person, and that's where the confusion creeps in with everyone, which actually means every person. For example:
  • Every one of those boys fought like a lion.
  • (In this example, one represents the word boy, i.e., a person.)