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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 6
    #1

    Each/every singular and plural

    I am a little confused about the differences between the following.

    Every one of the students passed the test
    Every student passed the test.

    Each one of the students passed the test.
    Each student passed the test.

    I understand every one and each one requires a plural noun, but is there a difference between the singular and plural forms?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,103
    #2

    Re: Each/every singular and plural

    Quote Originally Posted by mollsen View Post
    I am a little confused about the differences between the following.

    Every one of the students passed the test
    Every student passed the test.

    Each one of the students passed the test.
    Each student passed the test.

    I understand every one and each one requires a plural noun, but is there a difference between the singular and plural forms?
    All subjects here are singular.
    If you want to compare singular and plural, the past tense is not useful, since it's same in singular and plural:
    The student passed - The students passed.
    You need something like the present tense to show a difference:
    The student passes - The students pass.

    Adding a prepositional phrase "of the students" to a singular subject doesn't change its number:
    Every one passes.
    Every student passes.
    Every one [of the students] passes.

    Each one passes.
    Each student passes.
    Each [of the students] passes.

    However,
    All pass.
    All students pass.
    All [of the students] pass.

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