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What is the difference between the following two sentences?

Each apple is red.

Every apple is red.

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I was relieved this one wasn't about "each and every"... :D –  user730 Dec 12 '10 at 14:39
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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Strictly speaking, the two sentences mean the same thing. However, the sentence "Each apple is red" is slightly unusual, and the more natural way to express this would be "Every apple is red", or "All apples are red."

The reason is that the word each is generally used in situations where we consider the apples individually or sequentially, whereas every and all are used for generalizations. So we might say:

We spray-painted each apple red.

Here each is appropriate because every apple was painted individually. However, most people wouldn't say the following:

[?] Each apple turned red by October.

This isn't technically wrong, but it sounds unnatural. Much more usual would be to say one of the following:

Every apple turned red by October.

All the apples turned red by October.

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Each is used for single person. Every is used for a group.

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protected by Will Hunting Nov 17 '12 at 6:21

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