Both vs. Each
'Each' and 'both' are easily confused by English learners. They are similar to each other. Follow the article to learn about their similarities and differences.
What Are Their Main Differences?
'Each' refers to every person or thing in a group of two or more objects, while 'both' refers to two options out of the two. Although these words are misused a lot, they serve completely distinct purposes. 'Each' refers to individuals separately but 'both' refers to two people or things together at the same time.
What They Refer to
To make it more clear imagine we have a group of 10 people or things. If we want to refer to one individual in this group we can use the term 'each'. But it is not always that we have a group of ten. A group can contain two or more people or things, The only important thing is to know that we are referring to only one of them.
If the group is contained of only two people or things, you use the term 'both' to refer to two of them. We mean by using the word 'both' you refer to two people or things at the same time.
Nouns That Are Used with 'Each' and 'Both'
is used with a singular noun because you know that it refers to one individual.
is used with a plural noun unless you link one singular noun after it with another singular noun. For example:
Verbs That Are Used with 'Each' and 'Both'
is used with a singular verb to refer to one person or thing out of a group.
is used with a plural verb to refer to two people or things.
- 'Each' and 'both':
- as a pronoun
- as a determiner
"Which course is better to take?" "
"Which course should I take?" "
Affirmative or Negative verbs?
'Each' and 'both' are followed by an affirmative verb. And since they are not negative markers they imply affirmative meanings.
'Each' in Negative Sentences
To refer to one individual in a negative sentence the best way is to use 'not every' instead of not each. Because 'not each' is technically wrong, however, some use 'not each' in English, 'not every' is more preferred.
Not every family has a dog. (Not "Not
each family has a dog.)
Not every cat learns how to spin. (Not "Not
each cat learns how to spin.)
'Each of' and 'Both of'
'Each of' and 'both of' are used before (determiners + noun) or (plural pronouns). Remember, we can use a (plural noun) or a (determiner + noun) directly after 'both'.
I miss my grandparents.