In this article, Singapore Plans To Become The World's First Smart Nation, there is an explanation about the E3A plan by Leonard:

We're working on something that we've named E3A, which is our way of looking at communications for the future: Everything and everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Why doesn't he use every time instead of all the time? If everything means all things, everyone means every person and everywhere means all places, then why does every time not mean all the time?

Here is the definition of every time in Oxford dictionary:

Without exception

Logically, without exception equals all, therefore every time is all the time. If so, then why doesn't Leonard use every time to make the repetition in the excerpt?


2 Answers 2


All the time means constantly, continually. Time in this sense is not countable.

Every means each, or all events, (countable); but not always (unless we use an idea like every moment of every day).

If I cry every time Mount Vesuvius erupts, (without exception, but never in my lifetime) and you cry all the time (never stopping), you cry a lot more than I do.

  • I get that after using every time there must be an event, but not for all the time. But can I say I cry all the time Mount Vesuvius erupts?
    – Ooker
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 15:05
  • No. If you want to express during an entire event: I cried the whole time. In such case, *time is countable and understood to be a period of time. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 15:26
  • Well, you can say it erupts all the time. That can mean often. The idea is so often that it seems like always. My sister lives very close and visits all the time. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 15:30
  • You could certainly say I cried all the time the volcano erupted meaning "from the beginning to the end". Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 16:03

Are you Singaporean or Malaysian?

I have spent a lot of time in SE Asia and am familiar with the idioms. Often locals will use 'last time', when they mean 'previously'. e.g. Before you lived in Kuantan, where did you live 'last time'. I have got used to this now, and know what people mean, and have become enchanted by the dialect and way of speaking.

But in standard English, when we say 'every time', or 'last time', we are referring to a punctive moment, as opposed to continuous time. Thus if I say 'I have been to America five times' I can then go on to talk about what I did on the first/second/ last etc. occasion that I went.

But if I say 'I lived in France three years ago' one would need to structure one's questions around 'what did you do prior to that/after that/ whilst you were there' etc. For in the second case one would not be dealing with a specified moment of time.

So that is why the author says everything, everywhere, all the time. He or she cannot say every time because he has not defined any moments of time. They could have said everything, everywhere, every time you leave your house, because that would include a definition of the moments they are talking about i.e. each time you leave the house.

  • Well, I'm a Vietnamese. But I agree that even I use last time for previously.
    – Ooker
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 14:59
  • You could of course say everything, everywhere, every day or indeed ...every second, of every minute, of every hour of every day. But you couldn't say every time unless you had defined what time was.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 15:08

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