Everyone or Every One?

by Craig Shrives

Everyone or Every One?

What is the difference between "everyone" and "every one"?

"Everyone" is similar in meaning to "everybody." For example:
  • Is everyone happy?
  • Is everybody happy?
"Every one" is similar in meaning to "each one." For example:
  • I know every one of my cows by name.
  • I know each one of my cows by name.
With "every one," you can nearly always insert the word "single." For example:
  • I know every single one of my cows by name.
NB: With "every one," the word "one" represents a nearby noun. In the examples above, "one" represents the noun "cow."

everyone or every one?

More about "Everyone"

"Everyone" (one word) is similar to "everybody." ("Everyone" and "everybody" are both indefinite pronouns.)

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

More about "Every One"

"Every One" (two words) can usually be substituted with "each one." (In this expression, the word "every" is an determiner that 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. (Prime Minister of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh)

Do the "Single" Test with "Every One"

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.

"One" is an Indefinite Pronoun

The word "one" in "every one" is an indefinite pronoun. This means it represents a 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.)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms What are adjectives?