“All” / “Every” / “Whole”


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Topic Progress:

Welcome to your “All” / “Every” / “Whole” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “All” and “Everybody/Everyone”
“All” and “Everything”
“Every”, “Everybody”, “Everyone” and “Everything”
“Whole” and “All”
“Every”, “All” and “Whole” with Time Expressions.
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

“All” and “Everybody/Everyone”

We do not normally use “all” when we talk about people. We use “everybody” and “everyone”:

Everybody loved the film.”

(not “All loved the film.”)

We do, however, say “All of us/you/them”, (not “Everyone of us.”):

All of us loved the film.”

“All” and “Everything”

Sometimes you can use “all” or “everything”:

“I’ll do all I can to help”
“I’ll do everything I can to help.”

You can say “All I need.” / “All she can.” etc. But we do not normally use “all” alone:

“She thinks she knows everything.”
(not “She thinks she knows all.”)

“The course was a disaster. Everything went wrong.”
(not “All went wrong.”)

However you can say “all about”:

“He knows all about biology.”

We also use “all” to mean “the only thing(s)”:

“All I’ve had to drink today is a cup of tea.”

“Every”, “Everybody”, “Everyone” and “Everything”

These words are singular, so we use singular verbs:

“Every space in the car park was taken.”

“Everyone has left.”

But, you can use “they/them/their” after “everybody/everyone”:

“Everybody said they were happy.”

“Whole” and “All”

“Whole” means “complete” or “entire”. We often use “Whole” with singular nouns:

“Did you eat the whole meal?”

“I’ve lived my whole life in Spain.”

“I was to tired, I slept the whole afternoon.”

We use “the/my/his” etc. before “whole”. Compare these pairs of sentences:

“It was great, I read the whole book.”
“It was great, I read all the book.

“I’ve lived here my whole life.”
“I’ve lived here all my life.”

We do not normally use “whole” with uncountable nouns. Look at these examples:

“I’ve spent all the money you gave me.”
(not “The whole money.”)

“Every”, “All” and “Whole” with Time Expressions

We use “every” to say how often something happens:

“We go shopping every Wednesday.”

“You have to water the plants every week.”

“There’s a bus every ten minutes.”

“All day” and “The whole day” mean “The complete day, from beginning to end.” Have a look at these examples:

“I spent all day at work.”

“She’s sick, she spent the whole morning in bed.”

“I was sad, I didn’t speak to anyone all evening.”

Notice that we say “all day” not “all the day”, “all week” not “all the week” etc.

Compare the expressions “all the time” and “every time”:

“We never watch tv, we’re in the garden all the time.”

“All the time” → (always, continuously)

Every time we have five minutes free, we do some gardening.”

“Every time” → (each time, on every occasion)