Universal pro-forms are special function words or expressions to refer to the total number of something. In this lesson, you will learn more about them.
What Are Universal Pro-forms?
We use universal pro-forms to refer to the total number of something either:
- individually to all the members of a complete group of something
- to a complete group as a whole
When Do We Use Universal Pro-forms?
We use universal pro-forms when we want to refer to all the members of a complete group of something.
(refers to the whole group)
(focuses on each individual member of the whole group)
There are some uncommon universal words that are seldom used. Here is the list:
- everywhence (adverb of source)
- everywhither (adverb of purpose)
- everywhen (adverb of time)
- everywise (adverb of manner)
Universal Words in Positive Statements
Universal words are typically used in positive sentences. When we use a universal word, we indicate a general, all-inclusive, and nonspecific group.
Use 'each' when you are thinking about the people or things in a group separately, one by one. Use 'every' when you are thinking about the whole group of people or things together, with no exceptions:
When we use each to refer to the subject of the clause, it usually appears in the normal mid position for adverbs, between the subject and the main verb, after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb:
Universal Words in Negative Sentences
Universal Words can be used in negative sentences.
I don't know
Another way of negating universals such as 'every' and 'all' is by adding the word 'not' before them:
Do not use each in negative clauses. Use none:
Each of the answers was correct.')
Universal Words in Questions
Universal words can either be used in negative questions and positive questions to refer to a whole group:
Don't you think
Universal Words: Number
Most Universal Words take singular verbs, either because they represent one thing or because they are collective, and, like collective nouns, agree with singular verbs and pronouns. For example:
Plural Universal Words take plural verbs.
Variable Universal Words can go with either a plural or a singular verb, based on what noun they're talking about.
We use 'all' with plural and uncountable nouns and 'every' with singular nouns.
'Each' is used before a singular noun with a singular verb. 'Each' can also be used before 'of' and a plural noun. The verb should still be singular:
Distributives refer to a group of people or things, and to individual members of the group. They show different ways of looking at the individuals within a group, and they express how something is distributed, shared, or divided.
'Each' and 'every' are distributives. Both generally have the same meaning. They refer to all members of a group considered individually.
- We use 'every' to talk about things collectively as a group more than individually
- We use 'each' to talk about the individual members of a group as separate items
We cannot use 'every' when we want to refer to two things and is not common with small numbers.
Each of my parents ✓
Every (one) of my parents ✗
Each vs. Every
Take a look at the differences between these two words:
|can be used for two persons or things||used for three or more persons or things|
|can be used as a pronoun||has to be used before a noun|
|can be used before a verb||used for repeated actions|
All vs. Every
'All' is used with a plural noun and a plural verb, while 'every' is used with a singular noun and a singular verb. 'Every' also implies 'without exception.'
'Winners' is a plural noun and 'receive' is a plural verb.
'Winner' is a singular noun and 'receives' is a singular verb.
We use 'All' with uncountable nouns because they cannot be counted individually.
every art', because we cannot count art)
All vs. Each
All refers to the entire group as a whole. Each refers to the individual members of the group.
I say hello to
It means the speaker just say the word 'hello' once.
I say hello to
It means the speaker say 'hello A, hello B, Hello C, hello D, etc. until it has been said to all of the guest individually.