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Unit 2: English In A Minute
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Session 12

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

'All' vs 'Every' vs 'Whole'

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? What's the difference between 'all', 'every' and 'whole'? Georgina is going to explain. Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Georgina

Hi! I'm Georgina from BBC Learning English. Do you ever wonder about the difference between all, every and whole? They all have similar meanings, but are used in different ways.

All means ‘the whole amount of something’. One hundred per cent. It is often followed by uncountable nouns or plural nouns. He ate all the sugar! All children love sweets.

Every has a similar meaning to all. It means ‘each one without exception’. I go to the gym every day.

Whole means ‘the complete amount of something’ and is followed by uncountable nouns or singular nouns. I ate the whole cake. The whole airport is closed.

Bye for now.

All vs Every vs Whole

These three words are very similar in their meanings, but they are used in different ways. They mean the total amount of something.

Every
Every
is usually followed by singular countable nouns. It means 'each one without exception'.

  • I play video games every day
  • I have watched every match my team has played

All 
The word all is usually followed by plural countable nouns or uncountable nouns. All means 'the whole amount of something'

  • All the students are studying for their exams at the moment.
  • You say that all the time!

Whole
Whole
is followed by singular countable nouns or uncountable nouns. It means ‘the complete amount of something’

  • I ate the whole dessert really quickly.
  • I've worked the whole day on this presentation.

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