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Difference between “each” and “every”

I'm not sure if I should use for each or for every in the quoted sentence.
On one hand it sounds better to use for each, on the other hand, I think when talking about how often something happens we must use for every.

1 . Employee A has a shift planned for each of the 5 days in a row.
2 . Employee A has a shift planned for every of the 5 days in a row

Which one do you think is the right one here or is there any other way for stating that ?

  • I'm still in doubt about which one should I use.
    – utxeee
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 9:40
  • 1
    For your specific example I would use neither. "For the next 5 days" is more idiomatic. Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 9:47
  • But at this specific example I'm not properly talking about the next 5 days, but in any period with 5 sucessive days of work.
    – utxeee
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 10:08
  • So you're saying "For any set of 5 days, Employee A has a shift planned."? That's the same as saying "Employee A works every day." because there is no day that Employee A doesn't work. Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 10:15
  • @MattЭллен I think he means he wants a statement applicable to any five-day period, not every five-day period Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 12:31

3 Answers 3


You're right in thinking that "every" would be awkward there -- in fact, grammatically impossible. For the following reasons:

  1. We do not say "every of." But we can say "every one of."

    On the other hand, you can say "each of."

  2. We indeed use "every" but not "each" to talk about frequency. But this doesn't make your second sentence correct.

    To talk about frequency in particular, we say: every day, every Monday, every 5 days etc.

  3. The first sentence is grammatically acceptable up to the phrase "of the 5 days." Like this:

Employee A has a shift planned for each of the 5 days.

But I have to warn you that this might not mean what you want it to mean, especially because you mentioned "frequency."


You have three ideas:

  1. There is a specific set of five days, expressed by your 'the 5 days'
  2. The five days are consecutive, expressed by 'in a row'
  3. Employee A is called for all of those days, expressed by 'Employee A has a shift planned for each of'—observe that 'every' may not be used here because unlike 'each' it is never used as a substantive, only as an adjective. You may say, as @CoolElf points out, 'every one of', or you may say as I do 'all of', but not 'every of'.

The awkwardness arises from your use of 'in a row'. You treat this as an adjectival phrase modifying 'the 5 days', and this is entirely proper. You've covered ideas 1 and 2.

However: there is a competing, and I should guess more common, use of '# Y in a row' as an adverbial phrase—'He went to church 5 Sundays in a row'. This use embraces both idea 2 and idea 3. If you say 'Employee A is called for 5 days in a row', 'each' or 'all' is redundant. But: this use does not accommodate idea 1 gracefully—its intension is consecutivity (idea 3) and comprehension (idea 2), and 'for the 5 days in a row' just isn't English idiom.

So you're presenting your reader with two competing parsings of 'in a row'. What you need to do is either replace 'in a row' as your lexicalization of idea 2 or eliminate the second parsing by displacing idea 1. Which you choose depends on where you want to put your focus. Your 'the' implies that the date in question has already been specified, so something like one of these:

  1. Employee A has a shift planned for all of these five consecutive days.
  2. Employee A has a shift planned for five days in a row at this time.

Employee A has a shift planned for 5 days, each and every day.

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