Uses of Each as various parts of speech
In this article, we will see:
- the various ways ‘each’ can function in a sentence.
- the various sentence structures/patterns involving ‘each’
- various use cases of ‘each’, including some dos and don’ts.
Each is used to denote every one of a number of persons or things taken singly.
Each as various parts of speech
‘Each’ can function as:
- a (distributive) pronoun,
- an (distributive) adjective or
- an adverb.
Each of them costs Rs. 50. (Each – distributive pronoun)
Each box costs Rs. 50. (Each – distributive adjective; box - noun)
These boxes cost Rs. 50 each. (Each – adverb)
We use ‘each’ and ‘every’ only with countable nouns. Also, we do not use any determiner with them.
The every class was decorated with balloons. (incorrect)
Every class was decorated with balloons. (correct)
The each kid was given a toy car. (incorrect)
Each kid was given a toy car. (correct)
Usage Patterns of Each
Now, let’s see some of the sentence patterns in which you are more likely to see ‘each’ being used.
Each as a Distributive Pronoun
We know that, ‘Each’ is used to denote every one of a number of persons or things taken singly. So, ‘Each’ as distributive pronoun takes a singular verb.
Pattern: Each + Singular Verb
Each of us plays it one after the other. (plays - singular verb)
However, when ‘each’ follows a plural subject, then we use plural verb with them.
These guys hunt in group. They each do their part of the work. (do – plural verb)
In other words, we can say that, if ‘each’ comes after the subject, the helping verb/main verb should agree with the subject.
We each has advised him to give up smoking. (incorrect; we – plural subject; has – singular verb)
We each have advised him to give up smoking. (correct; we – plural subject; have - plural verb)
The position of ‘each’ also matters.
We have each advised him to give up smoking. (incorrect)
Each as a Distributive Adjective
‘Each’ as distributive adjective takes a singular countable noun and a singular verb.
Pattern: Each + Singular Noun + Singular Verb
Each drummer plays it one after the other. (drummer - singular noun; plays - singular verb)
Position of Each
In a sentence, ‘each’ may have three positions.
Each of these players scored 3 goals. (starting position; here ‘each’ is working as a pronoun)
These players scored each 3 goals. (mid position, after verb)
These players scored 3 goals each. (end position; in such position of ‘each’, we write ‘each’ only after a numeral; here ‘each’ is working as an adverb)
Each of the women received a coupon. (starting position; here ‘each’ is working as a pronoun)
These women received each a coupon. (mid position, after verb)
Compare the following:
The women received a coupon each. (incorrect)
The women received five coupons each. (correct; in such position of ‘each’, we write ‘each’ only after a numeral)
I bought each of these bikes for 2 lakh rupees. (mid position, after verb; here ‘each’ is working as a pronoun)
I bought these bikes for 2 lakh rupees each. (end position; in such position of ‘each’, we write ‘each’ only after a numeral; here ‘each’ is working as an adverb)
Each Vs. Every
Students often get confused between ‘each’ and ‘every’. So, let us compare ‘each’ and ‘every’, and see a few of the differences between them.
Each can function as a pronoun or as an adjective. While, Every only functions as an adjective.
Each is used for ‘definite/specific’ cases, while Every for ‘indefinite/general’ cases.
Every of you is a champion. (incorrect)
Each/Everyone of you is a champion. (correct)
Each action has equal and opposite reaction. (incorrect)
Every action has equal and opposite reaction. (correct)
Each is used for two or more than two. While, Every is used for more than two.
We may use Each to emphasize an individual (but not Every).
That is, we use ‘each’ to refer to every member of the group. While, we use ‘every’ to refer to all the members of the group collectively.
Every cigarette we smoke is scarring our lungs. (incorrect)
Each cigarette we smoke is scarring our lungs. (correct)
The phrase ‘each and every’ is used for emphasis. It just adds more force to ‘each’. We use singular verb with it.
Each and every member of the parliament was evacuated.
Extra Books and Tools
Though the matter on our website is in-depth and comprehensive enough for the needs of most of the aptitude exams, but it may also feel daunting for the same reasons. Moreover, some learners prefer books over websites. So, if you are a beginner level English learner, and prefer books, you may explore the following English Grammar books too.
1. Wren & Martin - This book has been around for long and is still considered one of the best. Though many concepts have not been dealt with in much depth here, but beginners may find it a breeze to read. Once you are done with it, the content on our website will work as a rich add-on. If you are getting this book, make sure you get the key to its exercises too.
Link for Indian readers: Wren and Martin
2. More advanced learners may refer to the following books. However, buy them only if you must. Most of your English Grammar learning needs will easily be met by our website.
Essential English Grammar by Raymond Murphy
Link for Indian readers: Essential English Grammar
Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy
Link for Indian readers: Intermediate English Grammar
Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings
Link for Indian readers: Advanced English Grammar
So much so for Englsh Grammar. But what about Comprehension skills and Vocabulary?
We strongly believe that Comprehension skills and Vocabulary are more a matter of practice. The more you read, the better you will become in them. In fact, this will help you in Grammar too. Afterall Grammar rules are just in the nature of temporary scaffholding - the goal is to read, write and speak a language without consciously remembering even a single Grammar rule.
So, we suggest you to read vividly. Ideally, carry some tool with you that you may refer to learn the meaning of any word that is new to you. There are many ways you may go about it.
* The old method: Carry a good dictionary with you. But who does?
* Download a Thesauraus app on your mobile or just google it. Better, but we still need to stop reading, open app, type and then search. Boring!
The methods mentioned above kill the joy of reading. Who wants to stop reading in the midst of an interesting plot and look for the meaning of a word? And if you are a lazy soul like me, oh man! No chance!
That's why I prefer to read on gadgets like Kindle. We may just tap on any word and see its meaning there and then. It's also not taxing on the eyes.
If you guys know about any more such books, gadgets and technologies that are awesome and may help English learners, do share 😇