the difference between words: all, whole, entire, each and every


I recently had a request from one of the readers to explain the difference between the words: all, whole and entire. So that’s what I’m going to write about today, but I’d also like to include the words “each” and “every”.

The word “all” is used with countable or uncountable nouns to refer to 100% of many things. For example:

All of my furniture is from Ikea. (uncountable)

I bought all of my plates from ABC department store. (countable)

The words “whole” and “entire” mean 100% of one thing. It is used with countable nouns. For example:

I ate the whole pie by myself. I’m so full right now.

I spent the entire day watching TV and drinking beer. It was great!

The word “each” and “every” are very similar but have slightly different meanings. They are both used with countable nouns. The word “each” focuses on the individual parts that make up a collection of something, but “every” focuses on all the parts that make up a collection of something. For example:

Each of the stamps in my collection came from a different country.

Every stamp in my collection is very valuable.

Each person in my family is very special to me.

Every person in my family can play the piano.

In addition, we use “each” when we want to focus on the differences between things, and we use “every” when we want to focus on the fact that things are the same. For example:

I have many pins in my collection and each one comes from a different country.

I paid over $20 for every pin in my collection.

I hope this is clear to everyone. Please note that when the words “each” and “every” are followed by a verb in the present tense, it must have an “s”. Therefore, “each” and “every” follow the same grammar rules as “he”, “she” and “it”.



  1. puMa.D Said:

    “The words “whole” and “entire” mean 100% of one thing. It is used with countable nouns. For example:

    I ate the whole pie by myself. I’m so full right now.

    I spent the entire day watching TV and drinking beer. It was great!”

    I am searching since some days the difference between “WHOLE” and “ENTIRE” but i can not find anything what clarifies the difference.
    All just keep on saying it has no difference but i am doubting that.
    So could You please explain the difference in detail because the quotation isnt clrarifying in my opinion.

    In my opinion i can only tell the differnce by my own feeling. For me it feels like “WHOLE” is more superficial and “ENTIRE” contains something like the “inside” as well.

    The whole planet is in danger

    The entire planet is in danger

    In these examples i would prefer entire planet

    Correct me if im wrong but i am quite sure there is atleast a slight difference like dominace or moral.
    Just like “perhaps” and “maybe”. Here is perhaps more “friendly” than “maybe” but the meaning is the same.

    Yours sincerely

    puMa 😉

    • Hello there.

      Thank you for your question.

      As far as most English speakers are concerned, there is no real difference between “whole” and “entire” except that “entire” sounds a bit more formal.

      If you would like a detailed definition of each word, I recommend the following site:

      I personally think this is the best online dictionary and has been very helpful for me. I hope this helps you to understand the subtle differences between these two words.

  2. dalal Said:

    thank u so much it helped me alot by the way i am an english langage student thanks again

  3. Pei Said:

    Hi there I have a question regarding ‘whole’ & ‘entire’ but in this case both words are used in the same sentence.

    e.g. the whole entire time, the whole entire world, the whole entire place.

    I have always assumed that it is not grammatical as ‘entire’ is a synonym of ‘whole’ which makes either one of the words redundant. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

    Pei She.

    • Hi there.

      I agree with you. If we say “whole” and “entire” together, it is redundant and not grammatically correct. I suppose some people might say that in conversation, but I don’t think it’s common. In my experience, people usually say “the whole time” or “the entire time”.

      Have a great New Year holiday!


  4. rs.ower Said:

    hi for all
    thankou for all this information .

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