Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'ever' and 'every'?

What is the difference between 'ever' and 'every'?

What is the difference between 'ever' and 'every'?

The words ever and every are often confused because they look similar. We'll explain the difference.

Every means all of a countable group, without exception when used as a determiner.

Ever means always when used as an adverb.

A good way to remember the difference is Happily Ever After.

Out of the two words, 'every' is the most common.



Ever and every are easy to confuse because they are just one letter different. Here's how to use them correctly.

Ever is an adverb that means always, at any time, in any way.

Every is a determiner and adjective that means each item in a group, all items. It can also mean complete and entirely.

Is the correct phrase 'better than ever' or 'better than every'?

The correct expression is 'better than ever'. These phrases are often confused because they have a similar spelling.

Should I use 'hang on every word' or 'hang on ever word'?

The correct expression is 'hang on every word'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar spelling.

Is it 'happily ever after' or 'happily every after'?

It's 'happily ever after' because ever is an adverb. These two words are confused because of their similar spelling.

Do I say 'each and ever one' or 'each and every one'?

The correct phrase is 'each and every one' because it is referring to all items. These phrases are often confused because of their similar spelling.

Some synonyms of ever are: of all time, forever, ever so, consistently.

Some synonyms of every are: all, complete, entire.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster.

Dictionary Definition of everDictionary Definition of every

Examples of ever in a sentence

Just as they had hardly ever seen their father.
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
That something had been with Max ever since he could remember.
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
Well, if she ever saw him again— Like there was any chance of that.
- Mystery Bride by B. J. Daniels
But I hadn’t ever tried to open the door with weight on the door frame.
- Touch of Darkness by C. T. Adams; Cathy Clamp
She was no glamour girl, but she was one of the most beautiful people Joe had ever known.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen

Examples of every in a sentence

Something is determined to make every trace of humanity disappear from this world.
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
When had she quit thinking about him every minute of every day?
- Mystery Bride by B. J. Daniels
I couldn’t imagine having to eat in that place every day.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
To Max’s relief, the numbness in his leg faded with every sip of cocoa.
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
No, she was grateful for every hour she spent here as caretaker to beautiful things.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts