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Blog by Isabel: An English crash course for everyone of us (or every one?)

30 July 2020

Translating is a profession. We can all agree on that. Languages evolve and change over time. New grammar rules are added and some are no longer relevant. Spellings that used to be unacceptable back in the day are part of the standard language now, and vice versa. At LinQuake, we have regular discussions regarding certain words, spelling or a specific translation. And once language enthusiasts get going… Colleague Isabel writes about it.

We were translating a Dutch text into English for one of our clients. The Dutch phrase ‘…voor iedereen van ons’ had to be translated. In English this would be ‘…for each and everyone of us’, or should it be ‘each and every one of us’ with a space? A discussion erupted.

Let the research begin

It goes without saying that we consult multiple resources in such cases. The more we disagree, the more intensive the research becomes. We start calling other professional English translators and consult resources such as Oxford Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary: we’ll do anything to be able to deliver the correct translation to our client (and, of course, to be proven right ;-)).

Our conclusion? Both spellings exist in English, depending on the context of the sentence. Obviously, grammar rules apply. So, what are these rules? Let me give you an English crash course.

Memory aid

  • Everyone refers to all people in a group.
  • Every one highlights every individual in a group. You’re mentioning every person in a group.

Do you see the difference?

Let me help you with a memory aid.

  • Everyone can be replaced by everybody.

Take this sentence for example: Everyone at LinQuake is working from home during the corona crisis.
Here you can replace ‘everyone’ by ‘everybody’: Everybody at LinQuake is working from home during the corona crisis.
In this case, ‘everyone’ refers to all people in a group.

In the following sentence ‘everyone’ can not be replaced by ‘everybody’: We would like to thank every one of you for coming today.

‘Every one’ refers to every individual in the group.

You can use a memory aid for this as well.

  • You use ‘every one’ when it is followed by the word ‘of’, in combination with, for example, ‘you’ or ‘them’.

We would like to thank every one of you for coming today.

Conclusion

So how did we translate the Dutch phrase ‘…voor iedereen van ons’? We chose ‘…for each and every one of us’.
Do you have any questions regarding English? I would gladly answer them for you!

 

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