Commonly Confused Words

Dead and died

These words are often confused.

Dead is an adjective.

  • A dead match
  • She was dead tired.
  • Mrs Fernandez is dead.
  • The telephone is dead.

Died is a verb. It is the past tense and past participle of the verb die.

  • She died in an accident.
  • So far 30 people have died in the explosion.
  • His father died last year.

Each and every

Each is used to talk about two or more people or things; every is used to talk about three or more.

  • She had a child holding onto each hand. (NOT — every hand.)

We prefer each when we are thinking of people or things separately. We prefer every when we are thinking of people or things together.

  • Each boy in the class was given a present. (= one at a time)
  • She kissed them each on the forehead. (One at a time)
  • Every boy in the class went on a picnic. (= all the boys or the whole class)

Every, but not each, can be used with abstract nouns.

  • You have every reason to be happy. (NOT You have each reason to be happy.)

Similarly every can be used with numbers.

  • Buses leave every ten minutes. (NOT — each ten minutes.)