Everyone and Every One

Commonly Confused Words

Ferris Bueller
"Sooner or later," says Sloane in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, "everyone goes to the zoo.". (Paramount/Getty Images)

Both everyone (one word) and every one (two words) have roles to play in English grammar, but those roles aren't the same.


Definitions

The indefinite pronoun everyone (one word) means all the people, every person, everybody--as in "Sooner or later, everyone goes to the zoo."

The phrase every one (a modifier and a noun) refers to each individual or thing in a particular group--as in "Every one of our friends has gone to the zoo." Every one is usually followed by the preposition of.

See the usage notes below. Also see:

Examples

  • "The Reverend kept on throwing out phrases like home-run balls and Sister Monroe made a quick break and grasped for him. For just a second, everything and everyone in the church except Reverend Taylor and Sister Monroe hung loose like stockings on a clothesline."
    (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House, 1969)
     
  • "The job she'd had before . . . had been at a small college in New Geneva, Minnesota, Land of the Dying Shopping Mall. Everyone was so blond there that brunettes were often presumed to be from foreign countries."
    (Lorrie Moore, "You're Ugly, Too." The New Yorker, 1990)
  • "When a steak . . . is brought up for the head cook's inspection, he does not handle it with a fork. He picks it up with his fingers and slaps it down, runs his thumb round the dish and licks it to taste the gravy, runs it round and licks again, then steps back and contemplates the piece of meat like an artist judging a picture, then presses it lovingly into place with his fat, pink fingers, every one of which he has licked a hundred times that morning."
    (George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933)
  • "After all, if the Temple is to create the impression of being true to life, I have to make every one of the tiny coffers on the ceilings, every one of the hundreds of columns, and every single one of the many thousands of diminutive stone blocks by hand, and paint them as well."
    (W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn, trans. by Michael Hulse. New Directions, 1998) 

     

    Usage Notes

    • "The words everybody and everyone mean the same thing, though everyone is sometimes considered slightly more formal than everybody. These words can only be applied to people. But every one is different. This means 'each one,' 'every single one of them,' and it can be applied to things as well as to people. He left several dozen notebooks, but his widow burned every one."
      (R.L. Trask, Say What You Mean!: A Troubleshooter's Guide to English Style and Usage. David R. Godine, 2005)
       
    • "Note that everyone (like everybody) is singular: He wanted everyone to become a veterinarian. Not: to become veterinarians."
      (Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, 5th ed. Three Rivers Press, 2015)
       
    • "Everyone and everybody are interchangeable pronouns, and can function on their own as sentence subjects. Watch out for subject-verb agreement: everyone and everybody (like no one and nobody) require singular verbs. 

      "The two-word every one is usually followed by a prepositional phrase: Every one of the subcontractors was invited to the meeting."
      (Bill Schmalz, The Architects Guide to Writing: For Design and Construction Professionals. Images, 2014)
       
    • "[A]ny one and every one mean one of a group (of people or things), rather than one person (anyone) or a bunch of people (everyone)."
      (Janis Bell, Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences: A Guide to Avoiding the Most Common Errors in Grammar and Punctuation. W.W. Norton, 2009)
       

      Practice

      (a) "Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers. _____ of these challenges can be met if we put our heads and hands together."
      (Thomas L. Friedman, "Trump and the Lord's Work." The New York Times, May 3, 2016)

      (b) "_____ was restless for change, for August is the month when undone summer things must be finished or regretted all through the winter."
      (James Alan McPherson, "Gold Coast." The Atlantic Monthly, 1969)

      Answers to Practice Exercises

      Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

      Answers to Practice Exercises: Everyone and Every One

      (a) "Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers. Every one of these challenges can be met if we put our heads and hands together."
      (Thomas L. Friedman, "Trump and the Lord's Work." The New York Times, May 3, 2016)

      (b) "Everyone was restless for change, for August is the month when undone summer things must be finished or regretted all through the winter."
      (James Alan McPherson, "Gold Coast." The Atlantic Monthly, 1969)

      Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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      Your Citation
      Nordquist, Richard. "Everyone and Every One." ThoughtCo, May. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/everyone-and-every-one-1689379. Nordquist, Richard. (2016, May 6). Everyone and Every One. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/everyone-and-every-one-1689379 Nordquist, Richard. "Everyone and Every One." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/everyone-and-every-one-1689379 (accessed January 21, 2018).