Everything or every thing appear in English, and it’s good to know what the difference between the two terms is. And yes, there is a difference. The sooner you can get used to it, the easier it’ll be to get a native level of comprehension!
Is It Everything Or Every Thing?
Everything should be used when referring to a group of objects or items as a whole. It’s used when it’s widely accepted and understood that a group of items are all the same and collective. Every thing should be used when referring to a series of individual items. These items often aren’t able to be grouped in the same way as everything.
When Should I Use “Everything”?
We’ll start with “everything.” It’s the most common way to write it, and many people believe it’s the only grammatically correct way to use it in a sentence. This is false, as both “everything” and “every thing” are correct. They hold very similar meanings, but they are just unique enough to make a difference worth noting.
Everything is used when describing a list of things that are closely linked. We group these items as one solid entity. So, if we’re talking about menu options, then each item is closely linked. The whole menu is part of the same restaurant, so “everything on the menu” is the correct way to write the sentence.
5 Examples Of How To Use “Everything”
Typically, when using “everything,” we’re ensuring that each item or object referenced is closely linked and capable of being part of a group. If that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to you, don’t worry. We’ve got a good solution that might help you understand it a little better. We’ll show you some examples of how “everything” is used in a sentence. Pay attention to the context for each one.
- Everything on the menu is free today.
- Everything you see before you is yours.
- Everything I have in my house I worked hard for.
- You are everything to me.
- They think everything revolves around them.
See how “everything” is used as a group (either literally or metaphorically). We group things in this way when they don’t make sense grouped in any other way. If you’re unsure whether “everything” or “every thing” works for your situation, nine times out of ten, “everything” is the correct option. You won’t be wrong if you use it, and most native speakers aren’t even that familiar with the major difference between the two!
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When Should I Use “Every Thing”?
So, what about “every thing?” It’s clearly the less popular choice, and many native speakers still don’t understand that there’s a difference. In fact, most people assume that everything can be grouped in the same way, meaning that “everything” is always correct. While this is technically right, and no one will think twice about you using it as a singular word, it’s important for your understanding to know the difference.
“Every thing” is used when we’re not grouping closely related things. This can be hard to find a good context for, but usually, an adjective splits the two words from each other. Basically, if we’re listing things as part of a group that we’ve seen today, but they don’t hold all that much of a similarity, then “every thing” will be correct. So, something like “every single thing I saw at work was disgraceful” makes sense. We’re separating the two words to add that space between them.
5 Examples Of How To Use “Every Thing”
Let’s finish by looking at a few more examples. This time, we’ll show you how “every thing” is used. It will help if you pay close attention to the listed objects and the context of each phrase. You’ll also see that it’s most common to add an adjective between “every thing” to emphasize the meaning. You’ll rarely come across it as a phrase without an adjective in the middle.
- Every single thing at the crime scene is accounted for.
- Every little thing you do annoys me.
- Every single thing I touch turns to stone.
- Every little thing they say hurts my feelings.
- You mean every single thing you could possibly mean to me.