usage of "each" and "every"

Here is a rule i found for each/every.

If subject is preceded with Each/Every, the verb takes the singular form.
If Each/Every is preceded with subject, the verb takes the plural form.

Now consider the following sentence:

Every Sunday,Bob and three of his college fraternity brothers (goes/go) to a neighbourhood pub and reminisce.

Correctly in the above sentence “go” is appropriate, but surely doesn’t follow the rule #1.

What can be a general rule for Each/Every?


I don’t really understand this ‘rule’ as it is written here, but perhaps it means:

Each/Every fraternity brother goes to that pub.
The fraternity brothers each study hard.


Mister Micawber

just to clarify: this rule is regarding each and every. The sentence uses only every. My question is, since subject is preceded by each, the verb “go/goes” should take the singular form ie goes. However shouldn’t go be the right answer?

Hi Techsavvy,

“Every Sunday” is not the subject in your sentence so it doesn’t influence the verb. The subject is Bob and three of this fraternity brothers (they), hence the plural form of the verb go.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: Company executive is answering interview question about future goals[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

Yes the subject is Bob and his friends, but since in the sentence every precedes the subject it should take singular form, according to Rule#1.

is there any discrepancy in the rule?

Hi Tech,

What about this sentence:

Bob and three of his college fraternity brothers meet every Sunday.

Every Sunday is an object that doesn’t have any impact on the verb form. In your sentence it is put before the subject, because there is another object at the end of the sentence.

The subject is not preceded by “every” but “every Sunday” and there is no connection between “every” and the subject.

Let me know if this makes sense to you.

TOEIC listening, talks: Owner of car dealership is promoting their vehicles and special offers[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Tech,

Bob and three of his college fraternity brothers meet every Sunday.

This sentence perfectly agrees with Rule#2 wherein if each/every is preceded by a subject the verb form should take the plural form(meet).

In General:

Rule #1: Each/Every + Subject >>> Singular form of verb

Rule #2: Subject + Each/Every >> plural form of verb

I am just confirming whether these two rules are [perfectly okay, since i read it somewhere just want to make sure about these.

In your sentence, the subject is not preceded by “each” or “every”. It’s preceded by an object that happens to contain the word “every”. Your rule doesn’t say, if the subject is preceded by an object that contains each/every, the verb form should take the singular form.

In your sentence, the subject is preceded by Sunday not by “every”.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: Announcing special offers in clothes store[YSaerTTEW443543]

The ‘rule’ is faulty, I think. There is no use pursuing this question unless techsavvy can supply some example sentences from his source illustrating the rule.


What about a pronoun referring back to ‘every’?

Every member of the circus stood straight when [he/they] performed.
Follow up sentence:
They were in a row and their movements ~ …- Is this correct?

Does it have to be a singular pronoun as well?


The grammar of one sentence is not affected by the grammar of a separate sentence.

I’d like to make sure if my understanding is correct or not.

  1. ‘Each’ serves as an adjective in 1st sentence.
  2. ‘Each’ serves as an adverb in 2nd sentence.

No, it’s still an adjective. Have you seen this usage note from the American Heritage Dictionary?—

The adjective each is always followed by a singular noun: each person; each book. When the adjective follows a plural subject, the verb agrees with the subject: They each dress in different styles. The houses each have central heating. When the pronoun each comes immediately before the verb, it always takes a singular verb: Each comes (not come ) from a different country. When the pronoun is followed by an of phrase containing a plural noun or pronoun, there is a tendency for the verb to be plural: Each of the candidates has (or have ) spoken on the issue. Some usage guides maintain that only the singular verb is correct, but plural verbs occur frequently even in edited writing
It is also sometimes said that the pronoun each must always be referred to by a singular pronoun, but again actual usage does not regularly observe this stricture: Each member of our garden club had their own special interests. In the most formal speech and writing, singular verbs and pronouns occur more frequently than plural: Each member … had his own special interests. The use of plural forms, especially plural pronouns, has been increasing in the United States, partially because of the desire to avoid using he or his to refer to a female.