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He was stationed as a guard at northern city-gates. There were fifty guards totally, at each city-gate, appointed to protect the gate from robbers, marauders and thieves. There were two junior commanders at _____ gate, each of them commanding twenty-five guards.

Should I use each in the blank space or every? Personally, I would like to use "every", since "each" is already being used several times. Would the sentence be grammatically correct and appropriate if I use "every"?

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    You may use either one. But make it "fifty guards total".
    – deadrat
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:00
  • I'd make it 'There were fifty guards in total at each city gate, ...' Aug 16, 2016 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

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You can use both. It changes the emphasis a little as this Cambridge blog shows.

We use each to refer to individual things in a group or a list of two or more things. It is often similar in meaning to every, but we use every to refer to a group or list of three or more things.

Since there are just two gates, I'd suggest each.

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  • The question is not totally clear, but I can't deduce that there were just 2 gates. Aug 16, 2016 at 20:03
  • @EdwinAshworth if there are two officers covering each gate with twenty five guards each and there are fifty guards total my mathematics come up with two gates total.
    – Helmar
    Aug 16, 2016 at 20:05
  • @EdwinAshworth strike that, there are fifty guards at each gate. You're right, there is no indication that there are only two gates.
    – Helmar
    Aug 16, 2016 at 20:07
  • I'll leave the striking to you. But the each vs every debate has been covered in a previous question. Aug 16, 2016 at 20:17
  • In fact there are 8 gates in total. Fifty guards are stationed at each gate and there is a junior commander above every twenty-five of them (guards). Aug 17, 2016 at 13:29
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I would use every there. Your sentence structure would put "each gate, each of them" which is slightly repetitive.

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  • Yes I am aware of that. I am wondering if using "every" here would be grammatically and aesthetically a put off. Aug 16, 2016 at 6:13

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