Posted by: Idioma Extra | March 30, 2011

Thursday Tidbits

All, Every, or the whole?

When you want pizza, do you ask for all the pizza? every pizza? or the whole pizza? Let’s look at the different contexts that each is used in.


All is used when referring to everything, something that is complete, or a complete duration of time. All is always followed by a singular noun or noun phrase. However, when all is followed by the the noun must be plural or noun count. It can refer to one or many things. Here are some examples:

You need to give him all your money.

– My brother ate all the food.

– We had to work all day.

– We removed all the chairs.

The whole

The whole is similar to all and can be generally used interchangeably, but it refers to one singular thin, so it is always followed by a plural noun.  For example, in the example above, “My brother ate all the food,” all refers to every part of the meal: the chicken, the rice, the beans, the salad, etc. However, the whole can only be used for one thing, so you can’t say, “I ate the whole food,” it would have to be something more specific like, “I ate the whole chicken.” Here are some more examples:

They painted the whole car.

I had to watch the whole movie.

We went on vacation for the whole week.


Every is used when referring to every individual part of the whole. Unlike “all,” it is always followed by a singular noun. Here are some examples:

He goes to school every day of the week.

– The teacher collected every assignment.

– It’s impossible to count every hair on your head.

Check Yourself

Look at the following examples and underline the correct word. In some cases, both may be possible.

1. The technician had to fix (all / every) the computers in the department.

2. I need you to count (every / all) coin that you have.

3. I couldn’t eat (the whole / all) hamburger.

4. I try to exercise (every / all) month.

5. (Every / all) members of the group heard the noise.

6. I’m too tired to finish (the whole / all) assignment tonight.

7. (All / every) member of my family was invited.

8. Unfortunately, I need to work (every / all) week.

9. I lost (all / every) the files.

10. My boss told me to clean (the whole / all) the office.

Answers from last week’s Check Yourself:

1. Why did she buy a new car?

How come ____she bought a new car_____?   _ok__

2. Why did they change their mind?

How come __they changed their mind_____?  _ok__

3. Why will you change schools?

How come ____you will change schools______?  _not ok__

4. Why didn’t you return my call?

How come ___you didn’t return my call_____? _ok__

5. Why weren’t you at the meeting?

How come ___you weren’t at the meeting_______?  _ok__

6. Why are you walking so fast?

How come___you are walking so fast_______?  _not ok__

7. Why didn’t you bring more food to the party?

How come ___you didn’t bring more food to the party______? _ok__

8. Why haven’t you been studying English?

How  come ___you haven’t been studying English_____? _ok__


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: