Those pesky exceptions: “all” and “every”.

Photo by kat wilcox on

“Every breath you take…Every move you make…” oops! Back to those songs again.

This week my son requested that I write about the difference between “all” and “every”. Mistakes with these expressions are very common.

Quiz time. What words go here, “all” or “every”? Do you know the songs? -Watch out! It’s not as easy as it looks.

Song number one
Why do birds suddenly appear
All times/Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Why do stars fall down from the sky
All times/Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you                                                                     
That is why all/every the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Song number two
Loving you is a like a song I replay
All/Every three minutes and thirty seconds of all/every day (uh, uh)
And all/every chorus was written for us to recite (right)
All/Every beautiful melody of devotion every night
It's potion like this ocean that might carry me
In a wave of emotion to ask you to marry me
And all/every word, all/every second, and all/every third
Expresses the happiness more clearly than ever heard (uh)

You can check your answers here!

…and from 2.55

You probably found most of the choices easy. “Every” is used with the singular, “every breath you take”, “every time you are here”, “every second” etc, and “all” is used with plural and uncountable, “All the girls in town”. The one that causes all the problems is “Every three minutes and thirty seconds“. This is the rule breaker! three minutes is quite obviously plural. The thing is, you also use “every” when talking about frequency, or “how often” something happens.

“Every day” – Perfect! “Every three days”-Wonderful! “Every seven years” –Divine! Every 1 000 000 lightyears ” –Lovely! “Three things every three milliseconds” –Correct!

So, thanks Ferdi for your suggestion for this week. If you have any questions, suggestions or anything else, please let me know below. Have a good evening and a good week!

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