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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    not each or every

    A food does not necessarily cause the same symptoms in everyone who is allergic to it: some people might experience mild itching and others cardiovascular collapse. In addition, a person might not react to each exposure, depending on the amount of the food consumed, how often it is eaten, and coincidental exposure to other allergy triggers, such as pollen.

    This sentence is taken from the Saturday Evening Post. My question is whether 'every' is a better choice than the underlined 'each'. My Chinese version of COLLINS ENGLISH USAGE says that 'each/each of' are not used in negative sentences, like in:
    x: Each boy did not enjoy football.
    x: Each of the boys did not enjoy football.
    Instead, we should say: None of the boys enjoyed football.

    Could I ask native English teachers to help me please? Thank you in advance.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: not each or every

    Once again, how vital the context is.

    In the sentence as quoted, in isolation, then yes, 'every' would be the appropriate choice. So, why has he used 'each'?

    The writer is referring to and drawing on research findings - research in which subjects were given a definite number of exposures and, in turn, the effects of 'each exposure' recorded. He is noting that when this research was performed, the effects of each exposure varied.

    However, the writer's mistake occurs when he draws on the wording of the research findings as he then generalizes these findings to what happens in the public at large. In life, sufferers do not have to endure a set number of exposures during their lifetime: exposure is a chance occurrence. Use of 'each' is appropriate in the context of the research study; but the writer has then 'lifted' this word and used it in his article.

    So - yes, 'every' should have been used.

    Last edited by David L.; 30-Jul-2008 at 11:49.


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