Distributives: each, everyeitherneitheranotherother. We use a distributive determiner to refer to each element or individual of a group or class, and not to a group or class collectively.


Each and every

These two words have about the same meaning. We use each when we think of people or things seen as separate individuals, and every when we mean every one that together make up the group.

  • She wears a ring on each finger except the thumbs.
  • Police arrested every member of the armed gang for robbery.

We can use each and every only before a singular countable noun.

  • Police questioned each/every member of the family for possible involvement in the murder. 

We can use each and every to mean more than two.

  • Each /every member at the meeting received a copy of the report.

We can use each to mean two and every to mean three or more.

  • Each player in the singles final has a different style of play. (= two players)
  • There were cars parked along the sides of every street in town. (= all the streets)

We can use every with uncountable nouns.

  • He gave me every advice before I went for the climb.

Either and neither

As determiner, either is used to mean one or the other of two people or things, while neither indicates not the one nor the other of two people or things.

  • Either parent is going to look for their son’s bully.
  • He received injuries on either side of his head from a fight.
  • Neither boxer was able to knock the other out.
  • Neither one would give in until the other apologized.

Another and other

  • The tribal chief has five wives already, and now he wants another one.
  • They defused a bomb but didn’t know there’s another one nearby going to explode.
  • There are other ways of eliminating rats besides drowning them.
  • It’s no use having only one shoe. I don’t know where the other one is.