Distributive pronouns in English
a. All is used with singular uncountable nouns and plural countable nouns:
You must eat all the meat that is on your plate.
All students are kindly requested to attend our next meeting.
as well as with temporal nouns, which often do not take any article:
I've been working all day/night.
b. All also occurs after it:
Have you seen all of it? Yes. I've seen it all.
a) Both is a dual pronoun, which means that it refers only to two. It is often used for emphasis:
Both (the) sisters are very tall.
b) Both occurs with plural countable nouns only:
Both houses should be demolished.
All and both
a) All and both are used as pre-determiners with of- constructions, which are optional with nouns and obligatory with pronouns:
all (of) the food, both (of) the girls or both girls
all of it, both of them.
All and both can also be used pronominally:
All/both went to Paris.
All and both are used in the following special constructions:
they all/both as subject of a clause and
them all/both as object of a clause:
Were all/both students present in your lecture? Yes, they all/both were.
Yes, they were all/both present
Did he meet all/both the colleagues?
Yes, he met them all/both
All and both also occur with the continuous form:
Yesterday, they were both/all studying French.
Each, every, everybody, everything
Each is used both as a pronoun and as a determiner. When it is used as a determiner, it occurs with singular countable nouns.
Each refers to two or more persons/things and expresses individual reference:
When I met three friends of mine, I gave a flower to each.
Each student should prepare a report on his M.A. thesis.
Every, used as a determiner, occurs with singular countable nouns. It refers to a greater number of persons/things and it creates a collective sense:
I saw a group of tourists. Every member of the group was carrying a torch.
'Each', 'every' associated with the plural
Each is associated with a plural verb in such cases as:
They have each told us a lie.
The women have seven sons each.
They each have seven sons.
Every is used with such plural expressions as: every too months, every few weeks
I buy new shoes every four moths
a) Everybody or everyone, used in reference to 'all people', and everything, usee in reference to 'all things', are followed by singular verbs:
Everybody was expecting him to say a few words.
I suppose that everything is worth seeing.
b) Both everybody and everyone take apostrophe -s genitives:
Both either and neither are used as pronouns and determiners:
Have you seen either of these?
Neither book was of any use to him.
Either means any of two persons or things, whereas neither is its negative counterpart:
I will have either/neither
a) Negation is also expressed by either and a negative verb:
I don't hate either.
b)Neither is preferred at the beginning of a sentence:
Neither of them wanted to visit her in hospital.
Neither can also be used as a negative answer to a question:
Which will you buy? Neither.
ExercisesGrammar exercises - Pronouns
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- English proverbs
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