Word Confusion: Every One versus Everyone

Posted August 21, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions

Every one of you is gonna git a lickin’,” Mama scolded. “You hear me? Now, everyone scoots upstairs and washes up or else.”

The difference between every one and everyone is distinct, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Every one is a specific individual or thing, while everyone refers to all members of a group, with no distinctions.

It’s Singles Time!

The two confusions are singular, which means they require a singular verb and the appropriate singular pronoun.

For example:

  • Everyone were was at the beach yesterday afternoon.
  • Everyone in the class asked for their his or her grades.

Tricks to Figure Out Which to Use When

You can substitute everybody for everyone.

Every one can be replaced with each or each and every one.

If you’re still not sure, try all of ’em to see which sounds right.

Curious About Other Everys?

If you’re curious about other every closed compound words, you may want to check out “Every Body versus Everybody“, “Every Day versus Everyday“, “Every Man versus Everyman“, “Every Place versus Everyplace“, “Every Thing versus Everything“, and “Every Way versus Everyway“.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Every One Everyone
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Silver stands topped with elaborate displays of meat and poultry

“Coloured Illustrations of Meat and Poultry Piled onto Elaborate Silver Serving Stands”, 1901, is courtesy of the State Library of Queensland, Australia and has no known copyright restrictions, via VisualHunt.com

Each and every one of these is a unique and elaborate food item.


A colorful collage of body parts to create a face and the graphic background

“Every 1” is by eggrole and is under the CC BY 2.0, via Visualhunt

Ya gotta check this out! A collage of clippings of body parts. A little bit of everyone to create one.

Part of Grammar:
Adverbial Phrase consisting of a Determiner + Noun, singular
Plural: every one (as a singular noun, there is no plural)
Closed Compound Word


Pronoun, indefinite and singular
A specific phrase referring to each individual item or the individuals who make up a group

[Used for emphasis] Each one

Refers to non-specific persons or things in a group
Every person

  • Everybody
Examples:
God bless us, every one!

Every one of the brothers was there last night.

Every one of these apples is rotten.

Each and every one of the cards you gave me was worthless.

There are no chocolates left — someone has eaten every one.

Everyone agreed to convict the defendant, and they voted unanimously.

Everyone needs time to unwind.

He knew everyone in the business.

Closing the airport during that storm was meant to prevent you and everyone else from dying in a crash.

The concert was awesome; everyone was there.

Can you let everyone know the food is here?

History of the Word:
First recorded in 1175-1225, the Middle English everichon meaning everyone.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Anxious Youngsters Begin the Chase in a Greased Pig Contest at the Tennessee Consolidated Coal Company First Annual Picnic Held at a Tennessee Valley Authority Lake near Jasper and Chattanooga, August 1974, is courtesy of The U.S. National Archives and has no known copyright restrictions, via Visual Hunt.


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