Every writer’s nightmare: Everyone vs. every one

These two words drive everyone nuts! Or is it “every one nuts”?

Everyone (one word, no space) is a pronoun meaning “every person in a group,” as in “Everyone at school was a real jerk today!” my teen daughter exclaimed, as she swung open the door.

Every one (two words, a space) means “each” and so refers to single, standalone objects that usually are part of a larger set, as in Every one of those apples has a worm in it!

One trick to get the right spelling is to simply use each in place of every. If the sentence makes sense (Each one of those apples has a worm in it!), use every one. If the sentence doesn’t make sense (Each one at school was a real jerk today!), then use everyone.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.